EMA, WHO and health ministry say it's safe to use AstraZeneca vaccine

TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters

"There are no signs showing the formations of blood clots in people vaccinated with AstraZeneca shots were caused by the vaccine" - the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday. Earlier on, Health Ministry spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz also said that the vaccine was safe to use.

Europe's drugs regulator backed the use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, saying its benefits outweighed the risks, after Denmark paused its use following reports of blood clot formation in some who had been vaccinated.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which called the suspension a precautionary measure, said there was no indication at present that vaccination had caused those conditions and the vaccine can continue to be administered while its safety committee investigates the cases of blood clot formations.

According to the EMA, since Monday, there have been 22 cases of blood clots out of 3 million people who had received the vaccine.

Poland's Health Ministry spokesman Wojciech Andrusiewicz spoke about the latest developments at a press conference on Friday. "I'd like to reassure all Poles. There's no reason at this point to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine. There's absolutely no reason today to make such decision" - he said.

The spokesman added that the EMA has already issued two statements saying that death cases in Denmark and Austria could not be linked with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He stressed that, so far, there has not been a single case of death in Poland that could be linked to AstraZeneca vaccine.

"We're up to date with the EMA, we're monitoring its guidelines, but at the same time our local vaccine market and post-vaccine reactions are being examined by experts (...). AstraZeneca vaccine is safe" - Mr Andrusiewicz reassured.

A World Health Organization expert advisory committee is currently looking at AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine after some countries paused distribution of it, but there is no reason not to use it, a spokeswoman said on Friday (March 12).

Health authorities in several countries including Denmark, Norway and Iceland have suspended the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine following reports of the formation of blood clots in some people who have been vaccinated.

Margaret Harris told a Geneva briefing that it was an "excellent vaccine" and that no causal relationship had been established between the shot and the health problems reported, calling the pause in use "a precautionary measure."

"It's very important to understand that, yes, we should continue to be using the AstraZeneca vaccine. All that we're looking at is what we always look at: any safety signal must be investigated," she said.

The WHO's global advisory committee on vaccine safety is currently reviewing the reports and will report on its findings, she added, as it does with any safety issues.

"It is very important we are hearing safety signals, because if we were not hearing about safety signals, that would suggest there is not enough review and vigilance," Margaret Harris said.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Reuters

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