EU medical body still undecided on Astra ‘clots’

The European Union’s drug regulator said Tuesday it is still deciding whether the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine causes blood clots, after a top official said there was a clear link.

The European Medicines Agency’s safety committee “has not yet reached a conclusion and the review is currently ongoing”, the Amsterdam-based EMA said in a statement to Agence France-Presse.

“We will communicate and hold a press briefing as soon as the review is finalized. This is currently expected tomorrow (Wednesday, 7 April) or on Thursday, 8 April,” it added.

The statement came after the EMA’s head of vaccine strategy Marco Cavaleri was quoted in Italian media as saying that there was a “clear” connection, and that the agency would announce it within hours.

“In my opinion, we can say it now, it is clear there is a link with the vaccine. But we still do not know what causes this reaction,” Cavaleri told Italy’s Il Messaggero newspaper in an interview.

After several countries suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab, the EMA said on March 18 that the benefits of using it outweigh the risks and it should remain in use.

But it has said there is a possible link to rare blood clots and that it would issue updated advice during this week’s meeting of its safety committee.

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