There is a causal link between the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and very rare cases of blood clots, although the nature of this link is unclear and the possible causes are also still unknown, an expert from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) told the Italian newspaper on Tuesday.
“It is clear that an association exists” between the vaccine and the dozens of reported blood clots, said Marco Cavaleri, head of the AEM strategy on health threats and vaccines.
“Such cases are extremely rare, and the benefits (of the vaccine) still far outweigh the risks,” he said.
“Yet it is becoming increasingly difficult to state that there is no causal relationship between vaccination with AstraZeneca and the very rare cases of unusual blood clots associated with low platelet count,” he added.
In its latest assessment of embolic and thrombotic events reported after vaccination against the coronavirus, published on March 24, the AEM examined 258 such cases (including 45 fatalities) that had occurred in Europe out of nearly 20 million first doses of the vaccine. administered.
On March 31, the agency explained that this assessment did not reveal “any specific risk factors, such as age, gender or a medical history of bleeding disorders for these very rare events.”
“A causal link with the vaccine is not proven but is possible, and additional analyzes are continuing,” she added.
Mr Cavaleri told the Italian newspaper on Tuesday that the assessment process was “far from over”.
The MEA is expected to provide a new assessment on the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine soon, perhaps by Wednesday evening, European Union (EU) Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides tweeted on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) and the Ministry of Health were also due to discuss the issue late Tuesday, although the AIFA has no plans to release new rules on use. AstraZeneca vaccine pending AEM’s decision.
Like other EU countries, Italy on March 15 issued a “temporary and precautionary” ban on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of low numbers. deaths due to thrombosis in the country.