The European Union’s medications watchdog is due to release initial results Thursday of its investigation into whether there is a connection between the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and cases of recipients developing blood clots.
The European Medicines Agency has been examining 30 reported blood coagulation disorders among the 5 million people in the EU who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Among the considerations is whether that rate is more common than the incidence found in the general population.
The World Health Organization said Wednesday it is conducting its own assessment of the latest available safety data for the vaccine, but that at this time the agency considers the benefits of the vaccine outweigh its risks.
“In extensive vaccination campaigns, it is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunization,” the WHO said in a statement. “This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to vaccination itself, but it is good practice to investigate them.”
India said Wednesday it would continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Concerns about the vaccine prompted a number of EU countries to suspend its use, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expressed confidence in AstraZeneca on Wednesday, but continued criticism of the company’s pace of vaccine deliveries.
“AstraZeneca has unfortunately under-produced and under-delivered, and this painfully, of course, reduced the speed of the vaccination campaign,” she told reporters.
Von der Leyen said the EU is targeting vaccinating 70% of all adults by September.