There is a clear link between AstraZeneca’s Coronavirus vaccine and extremely very rare blood clots in the brain, a senior official for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in an interview. “In my opinion, we can now say it, it is clear that there is an association with the vaccine. However, we still do not know what causes this reaction,” Marco Cavaleri, chair of the vaccine evaluation team at the EMA, said. The very rare cases of blood clots were associated with a low platelet count, and were most common in women, he said.
Cavaleri said that the average age of people getting the clots following vaccination was between 45 and 47 years-old. There were some cases in women older than 50, and about 20% of cases were in men, he said. It was “clear there is a link with the vaccine” but there was still uncertainty about what exactly was causing such a reaction. “EMA is of the view that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19, with its associated risk of hospitalization and death, outweigh the risks of side effects,” the agency said in a statement.