AstraZeneca vaccine: ‘No evidence’ to restrict use of Covid jab, EMA boss says

There is “no evidence” to restrict the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in any country, according to the European Medicines Agency (EMA)’s executive director.

Emer Cooke made the assurances after several European countries suspended their rollout of the vaccine due to fears of a rare blood clotting incident.

The agency said a causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is “possible” and further analysis would continue.

At a meeting of the EMA’s safety committee on Wednesday, Ms Cooke reiterated to colleagues the vaccine’s safety and said its benefits far outweighed its risks.

Germany become the latest EU member to ban the jab’s use this week, specifically for under-60’s, with chancellor Angela Merkel telling reporters on Tuesday night that the change was prompted by the occurrence of what she called very rare but very serious cases of thrombosis among younger and predominantly female recipients of the vaccine.

“We cannot ignore those cases,” Ms Merkel said, adding that the EMA and World Health Organisation (WHO) were notified of the incidents.

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