JUST IN: EU regulator says AstraZeneca is ‘safe and effective’ vaccine

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Europe’s medical regulator said Thursday the AstraZeneca vaccine is “safe and effective” and not associated with a higher blood clot risk, after more than a dozen countries paused rollouts over health fears.

The closely-watched announcement comes after the WHO and Britain’s health watchdog both said the vaccine was safe, adding that it was far riskier to not get the shot as several countries face a worrying rise in coronavirus cases. “The committee has come to a clear scientific conclusion: this is a safe and effective vaccine,” European Medicines Agency (EMA) chief Emer Cooke said Thursday after a probe by the body’s safety committee.

“The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots,” she added. However, the agency “cannot rule out definitively” a link to a rare clotting disorder.

The UK health regulator on Thursday also said there were no links between blood clots and the AstraZeneca jab, or the Pfizer vaccine.

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