EU states to resume Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine rollout

EU states to resume Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine rollout
Germany, France, Italy and Spain were among the countries to pause their rollouts of the vaccine as a precaution. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: Germany, France, Italy, and Spain are to restart their roll-out of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after Europe’s medicines regulator concluded it was “safe and effective”.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) reviewed the vaccine after 13 EU member states suspended use of the jab over fears of a link to blood clots.

The EMA found the jab was “not associated” with a higher risk of clots.

After this, the leading EU states said they would resume using the jab.

It is up to individual EU states to decide whether and when to restart giving their people the vaccine. Sweden said it needed a “few days” to decide.

On Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) called on countries to continue using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and is due to release the results of its own review into the vaccine’s safety on Friday.

WHO’s investigation focused on a small number of cases of unusual blood disorders. In particular, the global health body was looking at cases of cerebral venous thrombosis – blood clots in the head.

Decisions to suspend use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine sparked concerns over the pace of the region’s vaccination drive, which had already been affected by supply shortages.

Jean Castex, French Prime Minister, announced new measures for his country on Thursday, saying the coronavirus pandemic was clearly accelerating and a “third wave” of infections looked increasingly likely.

Mr Castex said he would receive the vaccine himself on Friday afternoon.

Emer Cooke, the executive director of EMA, told a news conference: “This is a safe and effective vaccine.”

She said: “Its benefits in protecting people from Covid-19 with the associated risks of death and hospitalisation outweigh the possible risks.”

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