The COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca has resurfaced in the news, with European medicines regulators set to rule on potential associations between the shot and unusual blood clots in a limited number of recipients.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to make the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday at 14:00 GMT. Following that, European health ministers will meet to discuss vaccine rollouts.
At 14:00 GMT, the independent Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom will hold a separate news conference to discuss the blood clot issues.
Due to concerns about blood clotting, many European countries have avoided using the vaccine on young adults.
The EMA previously stated that the shot, which was produced in collaboration with the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, is safe and that the benefits outweigh the risks.
The vaccination is important for Europe’s immunisation program as well as bringing vaccines to developing countries. It’s less expensive and easier to use than rival products from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, and it’s approved in more than 50 countries.
Inconsistent guidance on who should take it in some countries has sparked fears that AstraZeneca’s reputation will be forever tarnished, leading to increased vaccine hesitancy and prolonging the pandemic.