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EU Agency: Rare Clots Possibly Linked To AstraZeneca Shot

(AP) — The EU’s drug regulator says it has found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and a rare clotting disorder but said that the benefits of the shot still outweigh risks.

In a statement released Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency placed no new restrictions on using the vaccine in people 18 and over.

The EMA said most of the cases reported have occurred in women under 60 within two weeks of vaccination. The agency said based on the currently available evidence, it was not able to identify specific risk factors. Experts reviewed several dozen cases that came mainly from Europe and the United Kingdom, where around 25 million people have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“The reported cases of unusual blood clotting following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine should be listed as possible side effects of the vaccine,” said Emer Cooke, the agency’s executive director.

The EMA is particularly focused on two types of rare blood clots: one that appears in multiple blood vessels and another that occurs in a vein that drains blood from the brain. It is also evaluating reports of people who had low levels of blood platelets, which puts them at risk of severe bleeding.

The EMA, the World Health Organization and numerous other health authorities have said repeatedly that the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective and that the protection it offers against COVID-19 outweighs the small risks of rare blood clots.

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