The European Medicines Agency has concluded that vaccination with AstraZeneca can indeed cause thrombosis, but such cases are rare. The head of the agency Emer Cook once again assured that the vaccine is highly effective and its benefits outweigh the risks, reports Euronews.
The EMA agrees that the risk of thrombosis should be included in the list of rare side effects of the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca’s vaccine. The regulator believes that the reaction may be caused by the body’s immune response. EMA spokeswoman Emer Cook said in a statement:
“The EMA, which has carefully reviewed the potential risks associated with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, has concluded that unusual blood clots with low platelets should be considered an extremely rare side effect of vaccination. Reports are extremely rare and overall the benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19 outweigh the risks Covid-19 is a very serious disease with high hospitalizations and deaths, and the coronavirus still claims thousands of lives every day across Europe. And this vaccine has proven to be highly effective in preventing severe illness and hospitalization and saving lives. “
According to the European Medicines Agency, women under the age of 60 are at highest risk of thrombosis. Dangerous side effects can appear within 2 weeks after the AstraZeneca vaccination. As of March 22, more than 60 cases of blood clots were registered in those who received the vaccine, of which 18 were deaths. At the same time, over 25 million European citizens have already received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Amid reports of deaths after vaccination with AstraZeneca, it was renamed Vaxzevria. All European countries, recognizing the effectiveness and attractive cost of the drug, anxiously awaited the opinion of the EMA experts. Emer Cook, head of the agency, stressed:
“A careful analysis suggests that rare cases of thrombosis from AstraZeneca should be included in the list of possible side effects. Based on the available data, we were unable to confirm specific risk factors such as age, gender or previous medical conditions. blood clotting disorder, as rare side effects were observed in all age groups among women and men. “
Against the backdrop of this announcement, the British regulator MHRA announced on Wednesday that the number of thrombosis cases after the AstraZeneca vaccination is increasing, and recommended that an alternative vaccine be offered to people younger than 30 years old. According to the MHRA, as of March 31, 20 million AstraZeneca vaccinations were carried out, thrombosis was observed in 79 cases (51 women, 28 men aged 18-79 years), 19 people died.
One hypothesis about the cause of thrombosis and low platelets, experts say, is a possible immune response, leading to a condition similar to that seen after some patients take heparin (heparin-induced thrombocytopenia). At the same time, Professor Wei Shen, chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, insists:
“We do not recommend stopping vaccination for individuals in any age group. And the advice to replace AstraZeneca with an alternative vaccine is given as an extreme precaution rather than for real safety reasons.”