A European Medicines Agency official has claimed that there is a link between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and blood clots.
“In my opinion, we can say it now, it is clear there is a link with the vaccine. But we still do not know what causes this reaction,” EMA head of vaccines Marco Cavaleri said in an interview with an Italian newspaper published on Tuesday.
He said that “in the next few hours, we will say that there is a connection, but we still have to understand how this happens”.
Persistent questions on whether rare but serious blood clots among those getting the AstraZeneca jab against Covid-19 are more frequent than in the general population have undermined confidence in the beleaguered vaccine.
After several countries suspended the use of the jab, including Italy, the EMA declared that the benefits outweigh the risks and it should remain in use.
But the agency has said that a causal link between clots and the vaccine is possible, and is expected to provide an updated assessment this week.
“We are trying to get a precise picture of what is happening, to define in detail this syndrome due to the vaccine,” Cavaleri said.
He added: “Among the vaccinated, there are more cases of cerebral thrombosis… among young people than we would expect.”
GERMANS FIND NO LINK: Meanwhile, Andreas Greinacher and his team at Germany’s Greifswald University Hospital have been conducting tests to find a link between AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots.
No link has been established with the vaccine, widely used in Europe and other countries, including Canada and India.
But several teams of hematologists, including Greinacher’s, say that an overactive immune response appears to be triggering the rare clotting condition in some patients, leading to new treatment guidelines in Europe.
So scientists are scrambling to map patients’ genes and examine medical histories of those sickened for any clues about what might make one person more susceptible than another — and if anything other than the vaccine might be at play.
“This is looking for the needle in the haystack,” Greinacher said, explaining that any constellation of risk factors, not present in 99.9 percent of the population, could be to blame.