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EU says ‘no indication’ blood clots are linked to Oxford vaccine
The EU’s medicines regulator said on Tuesday it was “firmly convinced” the benefits of AstraZeneca’s vaccine outweigh potential risks, insisting there was no evidence linking it to blood clots after several nations suspended the shot over health fears.
“We are still firmly convinced that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19 with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death outweigh the risk of these side effects,” EMA chief Emer Cooke said Tuesday.
“At present there is no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions,” she added, echoing the WHO and drugmaker AstraZeneca itself.
Cooke noted however that the regulator was “looking at adverse events associated with all vaccines”.
Experts at both the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency held talks on the vaccine on Tuesday, with the European organisation expected to publish conclusions Thursday.
France and Italy welcomed the news from the EMA.
“Today’s preliminary statements from EMA are encouraging,” said a joint statement from French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
Hello and welcome to our ongoing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic, with me, Alison Rourke. Before we get started, here’s a summary of the main news so far today:
- The European Medicines Agency (EMA) says it is “firmly convinced” the benefits of AstraZeneca’s vaccine outweigh potential risks, insisting there was no evidence linking it to blood clots after several nations suspended the shot over health fears. Experts at both the World Health Organization and the EMA met on Tuesday to discuss the vaccine, with the EMA expected to publish conclusions Thursday.
- French prime minister Jean Castex has said that France had entered a third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the seven-day average of new cases rose above 25,000 for the first time since 20 November. Castex also said he intends to get an AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine once European health authorities confirm the jab is safe.
- There was chaos and confusion in Germany and Italy after their decisions to suspend use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid jab, with vaccination centres closing their doors and appointments being abruptly cancelled.
- Two cases of a new coronavirus strain first reported in the Philippines have been found in England. Public Health England said the variant contains a number of notable mutations, including the E484K spike protein found in the Manaus (Brazil) variant.
- Iceland is to allow entry to all visitors bearing proof of vaccination against Covid starting from Thursday, the country’s health ministry said. The move makes the country one of the first European nations to open its borders beyond the Schengen area.
- Former UK prime minister Tony Blair called for world leaders to make sure that groundbreaking future vaccines are not subject to restrictive intellectual property laws.
- The number of deaths from Covid-19 across Europe passed 900,000, according to an AFP tally. There were more than 530,000 additional deaths in the EU and EFTA countries from January to December 2020, against the average number of deaths during the same period between 2016 and 2019.
- The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands increased by 24% in the last seven days, the biggest weekly jump since mid-December, Dutch health authorities said.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Coronavirus live news: ‘no indication’ Oxford vaccine is linked to blood clots, says EU regulator | World news