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'EMA Italy Official Opines Without Evidence That AstraZeneca COVID-19 Shot Linked To Blood Clots In Brain: Report'

'EMA Italy Official Opines Without Evidence That AstraZeneca COVID-19 Shot Linked To Blood Clots In Brain: Report'

There is a link between AstraZeneca Plc’s (NASDAQ: AZN) COVID-19 vaccine and rare blood clots in the brain, but the possible causes are still unknown, Marco Cavaleri for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in an interview, reports Reuters.

What Happened: “In my opinion, we can now say it, it is clear that there is an association (of the brain blood clots) with the vaccine. However, we still do not know what causes this reaction,” Marco Cavaleri, chair of the vaccine evaluation team at the EMA, told Italian daily Il Messagero.

Cavaleri provided no evidence to support his comment.

The news comes ahead of an updated safety review from EMA with findings expected on Wednesday or Thursday and after the agency’s March 18 decision to continue the shot rollout despite the small number of patients reporting severe, unexpected blood clots.

Several European countries had stopped using the vaccine ahead of that decision to wait for the EMA’s initial findings.

Meanwhile, in the U.K., officials are considering restricting the usage of the vaccine in people under 30. Last week, Germany suspended using AZN shot for people under 60 due to reports of blood clots.

Why It Matters: The EMA has repeatedly said the benefits of the AstraZeneca shot outweigh the risks. The World Health Organization has also backed the vaccine.

AstraZeneca said earlier its studies had found no higher risk of clots because of its vaccine.

Last month, interim data from U.S. trials in over 32,000 people showed its COVID-19 shot is 79% effective and safe.

The EMA also said that if a connection between the clots and Astra’s vaccine is established, the agency will change its recommendations, Executive Director Emer Cooke said.

Price Action: AZN shares are down 0.05% at $49.51 in the market trading session on the last check Tuesday.


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