Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on Wednesday that is seems “fairly unlikely” that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is causing blood clots, and that he was surprised that so many countries have paused administration of the vaccine.
“Everything that I have heard so far – but we’re waiting for the European Medicines Agency report tomorrow – would indicate that this is one of those things where clotting is a fairly common medical problem and you have 17 million people getting a vaccine, some of them are going to have various medical problems just because that was going to happen to them anyway,” Collins told CNN on Wednesday.
“To try to draw a cause and effect would require much stronger evidence than some coincidences of those experiences, but let’s see what the data looks like," he added.
Collins said the that US Food and Drug Administration will look “with great care and stringency” at AstraZeneca trial results from the US. The information will start to be revealed soon, he said, and that the company will put in a request for emergency use authorization.
Collins said he was “a bit surprised” that so many countries have decided to pause the rollout of the vaccine, “especially at a time where the disease itself is so incredibly threatening in most of those countries.”
However, he added that he didn’t have access to any of the primary data that may have caused alarm in those countries.