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MHRA & PRAC announce review of the safety of AstraZeneca’s vaccine

Ann Taylor

The Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) reaffirmed the benefits of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca continue to far outweigh the risks.

The MHRA announced their review of the thromboembolic events in over 11 million people who received COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in the UK. The UK regulator confirmed that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 far outweigh the risks, and people should continue to get vaccinated when asked to do so, states AstraZeneca in a press release. The MHRA concluded there is no evidence that blood clots in veins are occurring more than would be expected in the absence of vaccination.

A detailed review of five UK reports of a very rare and specific type of blood clot in the cerebral veins (sinus vein thrombosis) occurring together with lowered platelets (thrombocytopenia) is ongoing. This has been reported in fewer than one in a million people vaccinated so far in the UK, and can also occur naturally – a causal association with the vaccine has not been established, states AstraZeneca.

PRAC

Subsequently, the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) concluded there was no increase in the overall risk of blood clots (thromboembolic events) with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

However, the PRAC also concluded that, for very rare cases of serious thromboembolic events with thrombocytopenia, a causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and deserves further analysis. Furthermore, there was no evidence of a problem related to specific batches of the vaccine or to particular manufacturing sites, states AstraZeneca.

The Company recognises and will implement the recommendations of the PRAC, including the update of the product information, whilst continuing to understand the nature and relevance of these events to ensure the safe delivery of the vaccine continues during this public health crisis, it states.

“Vaccine safety is paramount and we welcome the regulators’ decisions which affirm the overwhelming benefit of our vaccine in stopping the pandemic. We trust that, after the regulators’ careful decisions, vaccinations can once again resume across Europe,” says Ann Taylor, Chief Medical Officer, AstraZeneca.

Photo of Ann Taylor: AstraZeneca.com