EMA 'convinced' Astrazeneca vaccine benefits outweigh risks

EMA 'convinced' Astrazeneca vaccine benefits outweigh risks

Venezuela on Monday announced it wouldn't authorize the use of the vaccine in the country at all following those reports.

Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, chair of the committee, said the team updated its guidance based on recent real-world effectiveness studies - including new evidence from the United Kingdom, which has been administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people 65 years of age and older. In total, 45 million COVID-19 shots have been delivered across the region.

"The benefits of vaccination significantly outweigh the risks, especially for the elderly", said Karl Lauterbach, health spokesman for Germany's Social Democratic Party.

Taking note of nations halting the rollout, the health ministry said, "There are reports on AstraZeneca's vaccine relationship with thrombotic events in people who received the vaccine".

For two cases, the link between the vaccine and the thromboembolic event has not "been established".

Therefore, the Ministry of Health chose to maintain the use of the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine in accordance with the recommendation of the World Health Organization, the European Medicines Agency, and according to relevant data.

NACI's initial recommendations were based largely on AstraZeneca-Oxford's clinical trial data and didn't examine real-world evidence past December 7 - months before the effectiveness of the vaccine was fully realized in other countries for older age groups.

"I have decided that it would be wise if I was vaccinated very quickly once the suspension is, as I hope, lifted and all the guarantees are given, to show my fellow citizens that the vaccine is the way out of the crisis and can be taken in all security", Castex said.

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The choice may be even more fraught elsewhere because many countries are relying heavily on AstraZeneca, which is cheaper and easier to handle than some other shots.

As previously reported, on 15 March Latvia's Disease Prevention and Monitoring Centre, State Council for Immunization, State Agency of Medicines and Healthcare Inspectorate recommended putting on hold all use of AstraZeneca vaccine. She called that difference "not statistically significant".

Nicola Magrini, the director general of Italy's medicines authority AIFA, told daily la Repubblica the AstraZeneca shot was safe and its benefit to risk ratio was "widely positive".

With the torrent of decisions casting doubt on the AstraZeneca vaccine despite assurances of experts, public opinion was tested once again to believe science over suspicion.

That means 45% have gone unused across the European Union.

Deutsche Bank on Tuesday slashed 2021 economic growth forecasts for the euro area by a whole percentage point, citing spillover of the ongoing pandemic-linked activity restrictions. France is considering a possible third national lockdown.

Europe has the luxury to be able to pick from several vaccine candidates - but the decision is still not an easy one on the continent, where the virus is again surging and where the vaccination campaign has repeatedly stumbled.

The British-Swedish jab has been dogged by controversy from early on in its rollout, after some countries initially recommended it for people over the age of 65 and then backpedalled, saying there was insufficient data for people in the age group that had received the shot.

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