According to a top official at the European Medicines Agency on Tuesday, a causal link between AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and reported blood clots has been made, but it is unclear what the connection is.
Speaking to Rome's local newspaper, the head of health threats and vaccine strategy Marco Cavaleri stressed that the benefits of taking the shot outweigh the risks involved.
Still, Cavaleri insists there's a clear association between the vaccine and the dozens of rare blood clots that have been reported worldwide, saying it's "becoming more and more difficult to affirm that there isn't a cause-and-effect relationship."
In response to Cavaleri's remarks, the EMA press office said its evaluation "has not yet reached a conclusion" and that the review is still ongoing.
It added that a press conference on the evaluation results would be held, as soon as the review is finalized, possibly Wednesday or Thursday.
While AstraZeneca did not respond to the latest remarks by the EMA, the company later in the day announced they were pausing the trial of their vaccine in children, while British regulators continue the investigation into the potential blood clot link in adults.
The WHO, meanwhile, insists the benefits still outweigh the risks posed by the vaccine, saying receiving the vaccines will decrease the number of casualties.
" For the time being, there is no evidence that the benefits risk assessment for the vaccine needs to be changed and we know from the data coming from countries like the UK and others that the benefits are really important in terms of reduction of the mortality of the populations that are being vaccinated."
A final assessment on the causal link between the vaccine jab and the reported blood clots will be announced Wednesday or Thursday.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.