The European Medicines Agency will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to address concerns about AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine and blood clot events after more EU countries suspended the use of the vaccine.
As of March 10, 30 cases of blood clot events had been reported among nearly 5 million people vaccinated with AstraZeneca's shot in the EU.
“EMA’s safety committee (PRAC) will further review the information tomorrow (Tuesday) and has called an extraordinary meeting on Thursday 18 March to conclude on the information gathered and any further actions that may need to be taken,” the EMA said in a statement.
The European regulator remains of the view that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks. The number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people is no higher than the number seen in the general population, the EMA has said.
Several countries, including France and Germany, have put a pause on administering the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine.
“EMA’s investigation has been continuing over the weekend, and rigorous analysis of all the data related to thromboembolic events will be carried out in the coming days. Experts are looking in great detail at all the available data and clinical circumstances surrounding specific cases to determine whether the vaccine might have contributed or if the event is likely to have been due to other causes,” the agency said.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said his government’s position was that the matter should be carefully investigated to see if there was any basis for Croatia to also move towards suspending use of the vaccine.
“For now, from what I have heard from experts, there are no such indicators. Tomorrow we will see what is the EMA’s opinion,” Plenković said, adding that he believed the EMA would proceed with caution and continue its investigation in cooperation with the drug manufacturer. He also said that the head of Croatia’s medicines regulator, HALMED, Siniša Tomić, participated in the EMA’s meetings on this issue.
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