21:40 GMT17 April 2021
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    ROME (Sputnik) - The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) head of health threats and vaccines strategy, Marco Cavaleri, confirmed in an interview with Italy's Il Messaggero newspaper the existence of an apparent link between the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and blood clots and said its causes were being investigated.

    "It is increasingly difficult to talk about the absence of a causal relationship between AstraZeneca vaccination and extremely rare cases of blood clots due to low blood platelet count. It is clear that there is a link," Cavaleri said, referring to cases recorded mostly in women under 55 years of age.

    The expert stressed that the investigation was far from over and "we still have to understand how this happens."

    In March, multiple reports came up about patients experiencing severe complications after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. Austria became the first to publicly express concern after a person died from blood clots within ten days after inoculation and another one was hospitalised with pulmonary embolism.

    Following the news, several European states halted the use of AstraZeneca as a precautionary measure until further investigations into the drug's safety were made.

    On March 18, the EMA announced that there was no conclusive evidence that AstraZeneca shots could be linked to higher risks of thromboembolic complications.

    side effects, vaccination, AstraZeneca, COVID-19, EU, European Medicines Agency
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