On Sunday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) took to Twitter to dismiss rumours surrounding the safety of the AstraZeneca jab.
This was after it was reported in the media that the head of the EU drug regulator’s COVID-19 task force had said that countries should avoid giving the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to people over 60, in addition to younger age groups amid fears over rare blood clotting and the fact that alternative vaccines are now available. The EMA has however always maintained that AstraZeneca shot is safe and can be used for all age groups over 18.
In an interview to an Italian newspaper, Marco Cavaleri, head of the COVID Task Force of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), had apparently spoken about the risks associated with the vaccine. However, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in a tweet, reinforced the fact the vaccine is safe. The tweet read:
Misinformation is making the rounds today. This is the situation: Benefit/risk balance of AstraZeneca #COVID19 vaccine is positive and it remains authorised for all populations.
— EU Medicines Agency (@EMA_News) June 13, 2021
It should be noted that several European Union member states have stopped administering this vaccine to people below a certain age, restricting its use to the older population, due to the rare cases of blood clotting, mainly among young people. “In a pandemic context, our position was and is that the risk-benefit ratio remains favourable for all age groups,” Cavaleri told the Italian newspaper La Stampa.
However, as the number of COVID-19 cases is falling and taking into account the fact that the younger population is less exposed to COVID-19 related risks, Cavaleri said it would be better to give them COVID-19 vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, such as Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines. Asked whether health authorities should avoid giving the Astrazeneca vaccine to people aged over 60, Cavaleri said, “Yes, and many countries, such as France and Germany, are considering it in the light of greater availability of mRNA vaccines.”
– With Agency inputs