EU regulator: No evidence to support restriction of AstraZeneca vaccine
The European Medicines Agency said Wednesday that there’s “no evidence that would support restricting the use of [the Oxford/AstraZeneca] vaccine in any population” in the wake of Germany and France limiting the jab to older populations after concerns about blood clotting incidents.
The EMA’s executive director, Emer Cooke, said that in the ongoing review of the cases, experts have advised the regulator that they haven’t been able to identify any specific risk factors for these rare events, such as age, gender or previous medical history of clotting disorders. A further recommendation is expected following a meeting of the EMA’s safety committee on April 6-9.
Cooke cited figures of 62 cases of blood clots in the brain — 44 of these from the European Economic Area — with the caveat that these numbers only counted cases until March 22. The committee will look at additional data when it meets next week.
Addressing reports that the cases have been largely confined to younger women, Peter Arlett, head of pharmacovigilance and epidemiology at the EMA, said that this could be due to the fact that more younger women are receiving the jab than men.
On March 30, Germany reported a total of 31 cases of these blood clots in the brain and announced that the jab would only be given to over 60s. France has limited the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to over 55s.