ROME -- There is a link between the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and rare cares of blood clots developing in people who have received the inoculation, the head of vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said Tuesday.
Marco Cavaleri’s comments to the Il Messaggero newspaper in Italy comes after the EMA, the World Health Organization and AstraZeneca last month said that the vaccine was safe to use and that its positive impacts outweighed any risks of potential side effects, such as thrombosis.
“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 said.
"We are trying to get an accurate picture of what is happening, to define in detail this syndrome due to the vaccine," he added.
A source from the EMA told Efe later on Tuesday the regulator has yet to reach a firm conclusion on whether there is a connection between the vaccine and the blood clots, insisting their investigation was “still underway.”
The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC), an EMA committee responsible for assessing the safety of human medicines, has meetings scheduled from Tuesday to Friday to conclude its investigations into the possible link between the vaccine and thrombosis.
Cavaleri said that blood clots had developed in the brain in some cases after getting the AstraZeneca jab “among young people more than what we would expect.”
Several EU countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus jab, while Netherlands and Germany have decided to limit its use to people of certain ages.
"They can do it, they can impose a precautionary principle taking into account that they have other vaccines available," he underlined.