The AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot is good to go in Europe again after the European Medicines Agency found that the jab’s benefits outweigh the risks.
At least a dozen European countries pounced on the news and announced AstraZeneca vaccinations would restart as early as today. Europe has been struggling with its vaccine rollout so the EMA ruling was welcome news, Science reports.
20+ countries halted AstraZeneca jabs this week after reports of blood clotting issues and strokes in young people who had been vaccinated.
The EMA pointed out that 20 million people had been vaccinated in the UK and Europe, and it had reviewed only 25 clotting or rare stroke cases.
The African Union and Canada also signaled their support for the shot.
But: Scandinavian countries will do their own reviews.
Major Question: Will the issues linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine spur more hesitancy in Europe and elsewhere? The jury’s still out, but a preprint study released yesterday found that vaccine confidence in Denmark dropped by roughly 11% in the last week.
The Quote: “What we really should be focusing on is that this is incredibly reassuring. The processes are working, the safety monitoring that we all expect from our authorities is happening,” Andrew Pollard, who runs the Oxford Vaccine Group, told Reuters.