Earlier this week, the EU drugs regulator said a possible link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare type of blood clot is possible, identifying at least 62 cases of the condition. The European Medicines Agency said its safety committee will probably issue an updated recommendation next week.
It was already noted that the U.K. has one of the world’s fastest-moving vaccine programs, administering shots to more than half of all adults by late March. New daily Covid cases and deaths have fallen to the lowest levels since September, even as infections surge again across much of the European Union, where immunizations have lagged.
The Netherlands became the latest country to prohibit the use of the vaccine after 25 new cases of rare blood clots that were perhaps connected to AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine was revealed. As of March 24, there are an additional 30 reported cases. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said in a statement Thursday that the benefits of the shot continue to outweigh the risks.
The Netherlands took a temporary move to suspend the use of the vaccine for people under 60 years old. AstraZeneca is now facing questions over trial results and delivery schedules as the number of blood-clot cases and the number of countries to suspend the use continue to rise.
David Werring, professor of clinical neurology at University College London’s Institute of Neurology said in an interview that “the key thing to remember is how rare these brain clots are, and how powerful the proven benefit of vaccination is against Covid,”. On top of that, the UK continues to forge ahead in its program. According to MHRA that 30 incidents were out of 18.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine is given by March 24. Prior to that, the agency disclosed five cases on March 18, out of .
On the other hand, there were no reports of the same reactions to the vaccine from and , which is also being used in Britain.
The AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines have shown “very high levels of protection” against Covid-19, according to MHRA, adding that “all vaccines and medicines have some side effects.”