EU expects impact on vaccination plans after EMA announcement on AstraZeneca

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European Union health ministers have been told the EU drug regulator’s decision on the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to have an immediate impact on vaccination plans and to require a coordinated response, a letter seen by Reuters showed.

The letter was sent by the Portuguese presidency of the EU on Tuesday to invite health ministers for an extraordinary virtual meeting on Wednesday to be held immediately after the decision by the EU drugs regulator on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The regulator said on Wednesday that the vaccine had possible links with very rare cases of unusual blood clots with low blood platelet counts, but it reiterated that the vaccine’s advantages outweighed its risks.

“We expect this announcement will have a direct and immediate impact not only on our national vaccination plans, but also in our citizens’ trust in vaccines against COVID-19,” the letter says.

“Harmonization at an EU level will be essential to stop the spread of misinformation,” it adds. (Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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