The European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed on Wednesday that the appearance of thrombi with a low platelet level is strongly associated with the administration of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, but that it should continue to figure as a very rare side effect.
In their most recent assessment, EMA experts told the media that the reported combination of thrombi and low platelets is very rare, and that the overall benefits of the vaccine to prevent COVID-19 outweigh the risks. of side effects.
The EMA said in a statement that there are no specific risk factors, including age, although most of the reported cases occurred in women under the age of 60 within two weeks of vaccination.
The findings were released after the EMA evaluated more than 80 cases of people who developed blood clots in veins and arteries after receiving the injections. Eighteen of the cases resulted in deaths. The agency reminded healthcare professionals and people receiving the vaccine to be aware of the potential for side effects within two weeks of vaccination.
“COVID-19 is a very serious disease with high hospitalization and death rates and continues to cause thousands of deaths every day in the EU. The vaccine has proven to be highly effective in preventing severe disease and hospitalization, and is saving lives, "EMA Director Emer Cooke said at a press conference.
EMA safety committee chair Sabine Straus said the investigation has failed to determine the cause of the blood clotting and that further investigations involving the manufacturer, AstraZeneca, have been ordered.
The scientific review comes after several European countries stopped or suspended the application of the vaccine in light of the reported risks.