European medicines regulator says unusual blood clots should be listed as very rare side effect of AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19

After a study of 86 such cases in the EU, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risk

There was no definite causal link, and although most cases involved women under the age of 60, they also occurred in men

During a press briefing, EMA executive director Emer Cooke said the combination of blood clots and low blood platelet counts was very rare but was seen at “all ages, and in both men and women ”, and there was no evidence available of“ specific risk factors such as age, gender or a medical history of bleeding disorders ”

“Our safety committee has confirmed that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19 overall outweigh the risks of side effects,” she said

Ms Cooke added: “This vaccine has been shown to be very effective – it prevents serious illness and hospitalization, and it saves lives”

The EMA said a plausible explanation was an “immune response, leading to a condition (heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, HIT) similar to that sometimes seen in patients treated with heparin”

Heparin is a blood thinner used to prevent blood clots, and HIT is a potentially dangerous immune adverse reaction to the drug

The countries of the bloc have widely differed on the vaccination campaigns and on the use of the AstraZeneca jab

In France it is now recommended that the AstraZeneca vaccination be given only to people aged 55 or over In Germany it is over 60, plus high priority groups Norway, not a member of the EU, and Denmark have a total suspension

Germany says its children under 60 who received a first dose of AstraZeneca should now receive a different vaccine for their second

Children under 30 in UK to be offered further injections amid evidence linking AstraZeneca vaccine to blood clots

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AstraZeneca: blood clots, symptoms of blood clots

World news – GB – EU drug regulator: Unusual blood clot is’ very rare side effect of AstraZeneca ”