European Union regulator reviews AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, blood clots

Gibraltar News - GBC TV and Radio Gibraltar

There have been reports of blood clots in 37 people among the 17 million who have received at least one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe.

Reports of coagulation disorders-blood clots and low platelet levels that could cause haemorrhage-in a handful of persons after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine have cast a shadow on the vaccine, despite no causal link having been established.

Figures from the European Centers for Disease Prevention and Control this week show there are about 7 million unused AstraZeneca vaccines across the 27-nation EU.

Fifty-one per cent of respondents to the online survey by Léger and the Association for Canadian Studies say they will take whichever of the four COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in Canada.

The WHO and the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have also said there is no evidence the jab causes blood clots.

Kate O'Brien, director of WHO's Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, said that a World Health Organization vaccine safety panel that met on Tuesday was assessing whether medical events such as blood clots were actually related to vaccination.

Léger executive vice-president Christian Bourque said concerns about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine don't seem to be on Canadians' minds.

The German government defended its decision to suspend use of the vaccine, saying it was based on expert advice.

This comes as Canada is expecting deliveries of two million doses next week.

The decision reverses a recommendation made by the body on March 1, when the panel of vaccine experts said AstraZeneca hadn't included enough people over the age of 65 in its clinical trials.

"So our vaccination campaign is going ahead and it must accelerate".

"It's right to investigate any potential signals of problems, but you can do that while you continue immunization", said Michael Head, a senior research fellow in global health at the University of Southampton in England. Determining whether or not the vaccine is to blame can be hard, since most of the people getting inoculated first are those most at risk of the coronavirus.



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