Kyriakides: EC is in close contact with the EMA for the AstraZeneca vaccine

The European Commission is in close contact with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) over the medical issues related to the AstraZeneca vaccine, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a tweet on Tuesday.

“In close contact with EMA on the pharmacovigilance assessment of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Evaluation expected late Wednesday,” she said on Twitter.

The European Medicines Agency is expected to update its advice as concerns grow about a link between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and blood clots. The EMA’s head of vaccines said in an interview published on Tuesday that there seemed to be a connection, although it remained unclear how this occurred.

What were the official’s comments?

“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,” EMA head of vaccines Marco Cavaleri told Italy’s Il Messaggero newspaper.

“In the next few hours, we will say that there is a connection, but we still have to understand how this happens,” Cavaleri said.

“It is now increasingly difficult to say that there is no cause-and-effect relationship between vaccination with AstraZeneca and very rare cases of unusual blood clots associated with low platelet counts,” he added.

The EMA has said a causal link is possible, and that it will provide an updated assessment later this week.

“We are trying to get a precise picture of what is happening, to define in detail this syndrome due to the vaccine,” Cavaleri said.

He added: “Among the vaccinated, there are more cases of cerebral thrombosis… among young people than we would expect.”

Caveleri did not think the regulator would be in a position this week to indicate for which age range the AstraZeneca shot should be used.

Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said the EMA would provide an updated assessment later on Wednesday.