European drug regulators have confirmed a link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 shot and rare blood clots, as UK authorities recommended that people under 30 should take alternative vaccines.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said Wednesday that a particular combination of unusual blood clots with low blood platelet counts should be listed as a side effect of the vaccine, but stopped short of recommending its use be limited.
UK regulators took a more cautious approach, saying healthy adults under 30 should be offered other vaccines.
EMA officials said they looked at 18 deaths in their analysis. These fatalities were reported in 62 cases of clotting in the sinuses that drain blood from the brain, and 24 cases of clotting in the abdomen.
The cases were reported in an EU safety database from European countries, including the UK, where around 25 million people in total had received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
After reviewing the data from EMA and the UK, the World Health Organization said in a statement Wednesday that “based on current information, a causal relationship between the vaccine and the occurrence of blood clots with low platelets is considered plausible but is not confirmed.
AstraZeneca is yet to respond to Wednesday’s announcements by EMA and the MHRA.