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EU drug regulator says AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is 'safe and effective'

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 9:30 AM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 12:36:21-04

LONDON (AP) — The European Union’s drug regulatory agency says experts have concluded that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not linked to an overall increase in the risk of blood clots and that the benefits of use outweigh the risks.

The head of the European Medicines Agency, Emer Cooke says the vaccine is “safe and effective.”

The finding from the EMA could open the way for European countries that had suspended the use of the vaccine over the past week to resume dispensing the shots. Nearly a dozen countries around the world had paused their vaccination efforts using the AstraZeneca vaccine.

However, some health experts worry about the damage to trust in the vaccine that has already been done by the pausing of vaccinations and investigation.

Experts from Norway said their investigation into three cases of unusual blood clots among vaccinated health care workers found the clots were likely caused by an immune response to the vaccine, according to the Washington Post.

The agency said it cannot completely rule out the rare blood clot cases, and said they will include the possible side effect in vaccine information and raise awareness.