Covid-19: Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe? WHO is positive but the EU is still deciding

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
A woman doctor or nurse vaccinating a patient with a syringe.
A woman doctor or nurse vaccinating a patient with a syringe.
Luis Alvarez

The EU's drug regulator said Tuesday it is still deciding whether the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine causes blood clots, after a top official said there was a clear link.

The European Medicines Agency's safety committee "has not yet reached a conclusion and the review is currently ongoing", the Amsterdam-based EMA said in a statement to AFP.

"We will communicate and hold a press briefing as soon as the review is finalised. This is currently expected tomorrow (Wednesday, 7 April) or on Thursday, 8 April," it added.

The statement came after the EMA's head of vaccine strategy Marco Cavaleri was quoted in Italian media as saying that there was a "clear" connection and that the agency would announce it within hours.

READ | Covid-19 relief: Govt squandered R177m on 'damaged' food parcels

"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," Cavaleri told Italy's Il Messaggero newspaper in an interview.

After several countries suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab, the EMA said on 18 March that the benefits of using it outweigh the risks and it should remain in use.

But it has said there is a possible link to rare blood clots and that it would issue updated advice during this week's meeting of its safety committee.

Meanwhile the World Health Organisation says the risk-benefit balance for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is "still largely positive".

"There's no evidence that the benefit-risk assessment for the vaccine needs to be changed," Rogerio Pinto de Sa Gaspar, the WHO's director for regulation and pre-qualification, told a press conference.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
71% - 9349 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
29% - 3749 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.14
-1.3%
Rand - Pound
21.36
-0.4%
Rand - Euro
18.26
-0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.30
-0.5%
Rand - Yen
0.14
-0.4%
Gold
1,783.48
0.0%
Silver
22.55
0.0%
Palladium
1,816.00
0.0%
Platinum
936.31
0.0%
Brent Crude
69.88
+0.3%
Top 40
64,307
-0.4%
All Share
70,808
-0.3%
Resource 10
66,503
-1.6%
Industrial 25
93,791
+0.1%
Financial 15
13,982
+0.7%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE