Executive Director Emer Cooke for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) argued that there was not yet evidence to suggest that blood clotting was a regular side effect of having the AstraZeneca vaccine. This comes after a heavily criticised move by Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel to suspend the vaccine in their countries. During a press briefing, Ms Cooke insisted that the EMA would be launching its own investigation into this issue regardless.
She said: “We are doing this review in light of concerns from citizens in the EU and the current situation.
“Which means that our priority, the safety of the vaccine, can be communicated.
“I have to explain that a situation like this is not unexpected.
“When you vaccinate millions of people it’s inevitable you have rare or serious incidences of illnesses that occur after vaccination.
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“Our role is to evaluate these so we can figure out is this a real side effect or is it a coincidence.”
Ms Cooke outlined how the EMA would hold a thorough investigation for the benefit of the European people.
She added: “We have pulled together an ad hoc meeting again today to help us evaluate these cases with all the surrounding information that the member states will have.
“The experts will then carry on their assessment and again will meet on Thursday to come to a conclusion on the full information that has been gathered and to advise us as to whether there are any further actions that need to be taken.
The Economist’s Health Policy Editor Natasha Loder added that linking the Oxford jab to blood clots is another claim from EU nation’s that will lead to a loss in confidence in the vaccine.
Ms Loder said: “I think what we need to really see is the kind of narrative that is emerging on this vaccine which is very damaging.
“It started with these untrue stories about the fact the vaccine was less effective in older people.
“This started in Germany from a newspaper report that was complete nonsense, it was even picked up by Macron.
“That has obviously been thoroughly debunked, we now have data from hospitals showing it is just as effective in the over-80s as the Pfizer vaccine.