Update (1530ET): German officials are postponing a meeting of state and federal leaders where the country’s vaccine strategy was due to be discussed until Friday, one day after the EUA has promised to wrap up its safety review of the AstraZeneca jab.
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Update (1400ET): Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and French President Emmanuel Macron said Tuesday that they are ready to re-start AstraZeneca jabs…just as soon as Europe’s top medical regulator officially declares its safety review to be over, according to Draghi, who shared the comments with the press after a phone call.
Both leaders and others who have halted the AstraZeneca jabs were warned that their decision threatened to put the recovery effort at risk.
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During a press conference on Tuesday, Europe’s top medical regulator, the European Medicines Agency, reiterated that there is no evidence the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID jab contributed to blood clots and other deadly developments in certain patients who received the vaccine. But while the agency insisted that there is “no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions,” it added that it would “urgently review” all safety data.
There was a time when reviews like this were carried out before approval, but the urgent problem presented by the COVID pandemic apparently forced developers to cut some corners as the first wave of vaccines was developed and approved in under a year.
A string of countries, including France, Germany and Italy and a handful of others (including Thailand, though it has since reversed the decision) temporarily suspended the AstraZeneca jab over the past week. They all claimed they were halting the shots out of an abundance of caution, as they reviewed data to see if there might be a discernible link between the vaccinations and some patients with low blood-platelet counts.
“A situation like this is not unexpected when you vaccinate millions of people,” said Emer Cooke, the EMA’s executive director, who led the press briefing Tuesday. She added that there is “no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions.”
Cooke stressed the need to take the time to evaluate every reported case and come up with a “science-based” assessment, a point that seemed at odds with her criticisms of the governments that moved to swiftly halt distribution of the AstraZeneca jabs. – READ MORE
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