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The EU drug regulator said on Wednesday that it had found a possible link between AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and very rare cases of abnormal blood clots, but the overall benefits of the shot would have increased the risk of side effects is.
The European Medicine Agency concluded that “abnormal blood clots with low blood platelets of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine should be listed as a very rare side effect”, a release said. The evaluation comes after an expert committeeIn people receiving the vaccine.
The EMA stated that most cases occur in women under 60, but there is not enough evidence to confirm specific risk factors. The regulator said it is important for health care professionals and people should be aware of the signs of these rare blood clots, including shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling and persistent abdominal pain. Neurological symptoms such as severe and persistent headaches are also included. Or blurred vision.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine came under scrutiny after two vaccinated patients died in March, prompting some European countries to halt its rollout during an EMA investigation. On Wednesday, EMA Executive Director Emer Cook reiterated that the benefits of the vaccine far outweighed the risks of side effects.
“The risk of mortality from COVID is much higher than the risk of mortality from these side effects,” Cooking said during a briefing. “I think it is important that we give the message that vaccines will help us in the fight against COVID and that we need to continue using these vaccines.”
AstraZeneca did not immediately respond to a request for comment.