European Medicines Agency officials said at a news conference on Friday that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks, and that they will continue to review "very rare cases" of blood clots.
"Importantly, the data show that the benefits of vaccination increased with age and increasing levels of infection in the community,” said Dr. Peter Arlett, head of Pharmacovigilance and Epidemiology Department at the European Medicines Agency.
"Every day, thousands of people in Europe are dying from Covid-19. The AstraZeneca vaccine is highly effective at preventing infection and therefore hospitalization and death," Arlett added. "Very rare cases of blood clots with low platelets have been reported, and these are listed as very rare side effects of the vaccine."
Arlett also said the European Medicines Agency is stepping back from reporting the numbers on blood clots, as the agency wants to contextualize the numbers and the risk.
Earlier this month, the EMA said a particular combination of unusual blood clots with low blood platelet counts should be listed as a side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine, but stopped short of recommending its use be limited. The agency previously said the positive benefits of AstraZeneca's vaccine outweigh the risks.