ASTRAZENECA VACCINATIONS TO RESTART IN EUROPE
Several European countries announced they would restart vaccinations with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 jab after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) deemed it "safe and effective," Leonbie Kijewski reported for Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
The EMA statement came after an extensive review of possible blood clot risks, the agency's chief said on Thursday, following reports that some people had developed blood clots in the period after having the injection.
France, Italy, Latvia and Bulgaria announced they would likely restart vaccinations using AstraZeneca's drug on Friday following the EMA advice. Spain would reportedly follow suit next week, according to El Pais newspaper.
In an effort to bolster damaged public confidence in the vaccine, French Premier Jean Castex announced that he himself would receive the injection on Friday. Swedish health authorities said, on the other hand, that they would need "a few days" to assess the EMA report before lifting the ban on AstraZeneca.
"The suspension remains for the time being," Johan Carlson, head of the Swedish Public Health Agency, told reporters. Germany will aim to restart vaccinations using AstraZeneca's vaccine on Friday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said. The restart in Germany would come with new advice on the vaccine's side effects, Spahn added.