Though there is currently no evidencedeveloped by Oxford University and AstraZeneca increases the risk of blood clots, a handful of European nations announced on Monday they would pause their rollout while the European Medicines Agency investigates.
The pause in France, Germany, Italy and Spain comes less than a week after Austria and other EU nations stopped administering AstraZeneca vaccinations from a particular batch of 1 million doses.
The death of a vaccinated patient in Norway and another in Denmark on March 11 spurred the temporary halt, but in a statement released on March 15 the EMA maintains “the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing COVID-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risks of side effects.”
The expert consensus is on the side of the EMA, with the World Health Organization, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration, and health scientists and immunization experts contacted by CNET suggesting there’s not enough evidence to show an increase in “thromboembolic” events, which include deep vein thrombosis, clots and pulmonary embolisms.
“It is my belief that the various regulating bodies who have temporarily halted the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout are being overly cautious,” said Adrian Esterman, an epidemiologist at the University of South Australia.
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