EU nations to resume Oxford COVID-19 jab after drug regulator says ‘it’s safe’

The European Medicines Agency has also ruled out any connection of the vaccine with cases of blood clotting that was reported in patients who were given the jab

Vaccine
Key European Union countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria would commence the jab now | Representative Photo

European Countries which had halted the administration of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine over blood clot concerns, on Thursday said they would resume vaccinations after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed that the vaccine is safe and effective and not associated with the clotting cases.

Key European Union countries including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovenia and Bulgaria would commence the jab now.

Announcing that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was found safe and effective after an investigation by an EMA committee, agency chief Emer Cooke said also ruled out fears of the vaccine associated with blood coagulation seen in people.

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Related news: As blood clot fear looms, Germany, Italy, France halt Oxford vaccine

“The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots,” she said.

She, however, said that the EMA “cannot rule out definitively” the jab link to a rare clotting disorder.

Earlier the World Health Organisation and Britain’s health and safety regulator had also announced the jab as safe, adding that it would pose a risk not to take it, especially when fresh cases are emerging across the world.

Welcoming the decision of the regulators, AstraZeneca chief medical officer Ann Taylor said it confirms that the vaccine will benefit in stopping the pandemic.

However, countries like Norway and Sweden, have refused to withdraw the ban on the vaccine. Stating that such a step would be “premature,” the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said it would announce its decision on the vaccine by the end of next week.

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As many as 400 million jabs of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to people across the world, mostly in countries which have been able to afford the vaccine and established contact with the drug makers. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, due to its cheaper price and easy storability has been a sought-after vaccine for many nations. It is also a part of Covax, which was set up to ensure an equitable supply of vaccines across the world.

 

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