Benefits Of The AstraZeneca Vaccine Outweigh The Risks, European Regulator Says

The UK and EU medicines regulators will issue important and simultaneous updates on the AstraZeneca vaccine at 3pm today regarding the issue of rare blood clots, writes

Paul Nuki, our Global Health Security editor.

The EMA and MHRA were until very recently part of the same body so one would hope they are cooperating and have come to the same conclusions. Key findings and messages to look out for include:

Has it been established whether there is a causal link between the vaccine and the clots or is it still just an association? Which way is the expert consensus leaning? 

At what rate are the clots occurring and can they say with any confidence how that data varies across different age groups? If they can, how does it compare to the Covid risk for those groups? We need to be able to compare risks and benefits.

What are the implications for vaccine policy? As the advice stands now, both the EMA and MHRA recommend the AZ vaccine continue to be used for all age groups but several countries in Europe and North America have limited the jab to older cohorts. 

Here it is possible the advice from the two regulators may diverge, reflecting the availability of alternative vaccines in different geographies. The forward mix of vaccines in the UK is split broadly 70 percent AZ, 30 percent Pfizer and others. That is not the same everywhere.

Hopefully, in a little over an hour, we will have greater clarity. But don’t expect all the answers. These things are hugely complex and will take many months to completely bottom out.

Source :

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