EU says ‘no evidence’ to restrict use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Frank Jordans
Associated Press

Berlin – The head of the European Medicines Agency said Wednesday that there is “no evidence” that would support restricting use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in any population, as Germany has now done amid concerns over rare blood clots in people who got the shot.

But EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke said her agency continues to study reports of new cases as they come in and will provide a further assessment next week.

People line up in front of the vaccination center at the Arena Treptow in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

On Tuesday, an independent vaccine expert panel in Germany said the AstraZeneca shot should not routinely be given to people under 60 because of a rise in reported cases of unusual blood clots in the days after vaccination. The German government followed the recommendation and said the shot will now be prioritized for people age 60 and older.

“According to the current scientific knowledge, there is no evidence that would support restricting the use of this vaccine in any population,” Cooke told reporters.

She said the assessment was based on 62 cases of unusual blood clots, including 14 deaths, reported to EMA by March 22. Those figures included a “significant” number of the cases reported from Germany, but not all, she said.

German regulators said they received 31 reports of so-called sinus vein thrombosis in recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine and nine deaths up to March 29.