The European Medicines Agency (EMA) declared Oxford / AstraZeneca’s vaccine safe after being discontinued in some countries.
The panel issued its judgment on the safety of the vaccine after some European Union countries stopped using it due to fears of blood clotting and plans to conduct further investigations.
EMA officials said the body could not “definitely” rule out a link between a small number of clot deaths and the vaccine.
However, the vaccine’s benefits outweighed the risk, the regulator said.
The committee recommended raising awareness of possible risks associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine and ensuring that these are included in product information.
The EMA told a press conference that more than 4 million in the EU had received a dose of the AstraZeneca push, along with around 11 million in the UK.
British experts this week criticized decision-makers in EU countries – including Germany, France, Italy and Spain – for exposing the vaccine while blood clots were being examined.
Public health officials warned that the virus itself posed a far greater risk as the outbreak continues to sweep Europe.
The UK government assured Brits that the vaccine was safe after AstraZeneca conducted a safety clearance that involved 17 million people who were given the vaccine.
The drug manufacturer found no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots.
The UK Medicines and Health Products Regulator (MHRA) also said today that the evidence does not suggest the bite is causing blood clots.
The MRHA claims that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine “far outweigh the risks”.
The World Health Organization also earlier encouraged governments not to stop the introduction of the sting.
Emercooke, Executive Director of EMA, told a briefing Thursday, “During the investigation and review, we identified a small number of cases of rare and unusual, but very serious, coagulation disorders which then prompted a more focused review.
“Based on the evidence available and after days of in-depth analysis of the laboratory results, clinical reports, autopsy reports and other information from the clinical trials, we still cannot definitively rule out a link between these cases and the vaccine.
“The Committee therefore recommended raising awareness of these potential risks and ensuring that they are included in the product information.
“By raising awareness of these possible rare diseases and providing information to health professionals and those who have been vaccinated, you can identify and mitigate possible side effects.”
She said the AstraZeneca vaccine “has shown at least 60% effectiveness in preventing coronavirus disease in clinical trials, and in fact, the real-world evidence suggests that effectiveness could be even higher”.
She said at a press conference that the EMA was aware that some EU member states had suspended vaccinations until they were checked.
Given that thousands of people die every day in the EU – including more than 2,500 in one day last week – the review has been accelerated, Cooke said.
She said the EMA worked closely with European medical experts and the MHRA.
“The scientific conclusions adopted today provide member states with the information they need to make an informed decision about using the AstraZeneca vaccine in their vaccination campaigns,” Cooke told the briefing.