(Reuters) – A total of 316 cases of rare blood clots with low platelets have been recorded in the European Economic Area (EEA) in adults who received the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, said an executive of the drug regulator of the region.
The figure recorded as of Thursday includes 174 new reports since the European Medicines Agency (EMA) provided an update in April, Georgy Genov, head of the watchdog’s safety monitoring operations, said during a briefing on Friday.
The EMA has been investigating cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (STT) since March and has found a possible link with the vaccine developed with the University of Oxford, Vaxzevria, and with the Johnson & Johnson single-dose injection.
However, he has continued to ensure that the overall benefits of both vaccines outweigh the risks they pose.
Genov said that another 19 million people had received the first dose of Vaxzevria in the EEA since the April update, adding that the frequency of STTs has not changed, that they are still extremely rare cases, but that the death rate after symptoms has decreased.
The EEA comprises the 27 countries of the European Union, plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
(Report by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt; edited in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)