Medical &Health

E regulator ‘firmly convinced’ of AstraZeneca benefits

The EU’s drug regulator said Tuesday
it remained “firmly convinced” of the benefits of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus
vaccine despite several countries suspending its use over blood clot fears.

“We are still firmly convinced that the benefits of the AstraZeneca
vaccine in preventing Covid-19 with its associated risk of hospitalisation
and death outweigh the risk of these side effects,” European Medicines Agency
chief Emer Cooke told an online press conference.

“At present there is no indication that vaccination has caused these
conditions. They have not come up in the clinical trials and they are not
listed as known or expected side effects,” Cooke added.

Clinical trials had shown “very small numbers of blood clot developments”,
she added.

The Amsterdam-based EMA’s safety committee was meeting Tuesday to assess
new information and would reach a conclusion at a special meeting on
Thursday, Cooke said.

They would then “advise us on whether there are any further actions that
need to be taken”, she said, without specifying what the measures could be. A
number of European countries including France and Germany suspended the use
of the vaccine following the reports of blood clots.

World Health Organization experts are also meeting on Tuesday to discuss
the vaccine.

The EMA approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for people of all ages on January
29.

But its rollout was troubled from the start, with several countries
initially saying it should not be used on older people.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)