- European Medicines Agency said Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine has more benefits
- EMA believes Oxford vaccine's proven efficacy in preventing hospitalisation
- The vaccine may be associated with very rare cases of blood clots: EMA
London: The AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is “safe and effective” and the benefits in combating COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risk of side effects, said the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) committee, PRAC, on Thursday (March 18) after concluding its preliminary review of people vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca. This comes after some countries in the European Union temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in persons who had received the vaccine.
The European Medicines Agency said that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots (thromboembolic events) in those who receive it and there is no evidence of a problem related to specific batches of the vaccine or to particular manufacturing sites. Moreover, EMA admitted that the vaccine may be associated with very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia, i.e. low levels of blood platelets (elements in the blood that help it to clot) with or without bleeding, including rare cases of clots in the vessels draining blood from the brain (CVST). These are rare cases – around 20 million people in the UK and EEA had received the vaccine as of March 16 and EMA had reviewed only 7 cases of blood clots in multiple blood vessels (disseminated intravascular coagulation, DIC) and 18 cases of CVST, the agency said.
The agency further said that a causal link with the vaccine is not proven, but is possible and deserves further analysis. The Committee was of the opinion that the vaccine’s proven efficacy in preventing hospitalisation and death from COVID-19 outweighs the extremely small likelihood of developing DIC or CVST.
However, in the light of its findings, patients should be aware of the remote possibility of such syndromes, and if symptoms suggestive of clotting problems occur patients should seek immediate medical attention and inform healthcare professionals of their recent vaccination, EMA said.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.