‘Possible link’ between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare clots found; EU regulator says benefits still outweigh risks

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Updated: Apr 07, 2021 7:52 PM

EU drug regulator finds 'possible link' between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare clots; says benefits still outweigh risks. 

astrazeneca vaccineWhile the trigger is administration of heparin in HIT, it is the AstraZeneca vaccine that appears to set off this rare reaction in VAPIT. Representative image

The EU’s drug regulator says it has found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and a rare clotting disorder but said that the benefits of the shot still outweigh risks.

In a statement released Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency placed no new restrictions on using the vaccine in people 18 and over.

Earlier this week, a senior official from the European Medicines Agency said there was a causal link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and the rare clots that have been seen in dozens of people worldwide, among the tens of millions who have received at least one dose of the shot.

Marco Cavaleri, head of health threats and vaccine strategy at the Amsterdam-based agency, said in comments to Rome’s Il Messaggero newspaper on Tuesday that “it is becoming more and more difficult to affirm that there isn’t a cause-and-effect relationship between AstraZeneca vaccines and the very rare cases of blood clots associated with a low level of platelets.”

But Cavaleri acknowledged the agency hadn’t yet figured out how exactly the vaccine might be causing these rare side effects. The agency said its evaluation has not yet reached a conclusion and the review is currently ongoing.

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