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EU regulator says AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine 'safe and effective' amid blood clotting reports

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A safety committee with Europe’s regulator concluded AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective, with no ties to an overall increased risk of blood clots in vaccinated individuals. However, a definitive link to serious blood disorders could not be ruled out.

Top officials with the European Medicines Agency said the benefits of the vaccine against COVID-19 and its associated hospitalizations and deaths continue to exceed the risks of side effects.

“PRAC [the safety committee] noted the number of thromboembolic events reported after vaccination is lower than the expected in the general population and PRAC has concluded that there is no increase in the overall risk of blood clots with this vaccine,” said Dr. Sabine Straus, chair of the safety committee.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain joined the growing list of mostly European countries — starting with Denmark last week — that temporarily halted the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days to investigate cases of blood clots that occurred after vaccination. Others include Thailand and Congo.

Many countries with paused vaccinations were hinging on a conclusion from regulators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a developing story, please check back for updates. 

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