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The European Medicines Agency is expected to update its advice amid new concerns about a link between the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine and blood clots. A senior official in the agency said in an interview published on Tuesday that there seemed to be a connection, although it was unclear how this happened.
"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 was already expected to provide an updated assessment this week. Questions about serious blood clots in a tiny minority of cases have undermined confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Several EU countries including France, Italy, and Germany — the bloc's three largest countries by population — either suspended or limited the use of the vaccine before the EMA declared that the benefits outweighed the risks and it should remain in use.
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