THE HAGUE - European Medicines Agency (EMA) chief Emer Cooke said Tuesday that the EMA is "firmly convinced" of the benefits of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine despite several countries suspending its use over blood clot fears.
"We are still firmly convinced that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19 with its associated risk of hospitalization and death outweigh the risk of these side effects," Cooke told an online press conference.
"At present there is no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions. They have not come up in the clinical trials and they are not listed as known or expected side effects," Cooke added.
Clinical trials had shown "very small numbers of blood clot developments", she added.
The Amsterdam-based EMA's safety committee was meeting Tuesday to assess new information and would reach a conclusion at a special meeting on Thursday, Cooke said.
They would then "advise us on whether there are any further actions that need to be taken", Cooke said, without specifying what the measures could be.
A number of European countries including France and Germany suspended the use of the vaccine following the reports of blood clots.
As reported, as an additional precaution, the Center for Disease Prevention and Control, the National Immunization Council, the State Agency of Medicines and the Health Inspectorate on Tuesday recommended a temporary suspension of vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 in Latvia.
According to the State Agency of Medicines, the decision was made on the basis of reports from individual European Union countries on thromboembolism and similar cases observed in various periods after receiving the vaccine.