Italy, Latvia and Lithuania to resume rollout of Oxford-AstraZeneca jab after regulator says it's safe

·1-min read

Italy, Latvia and Lithuania have said they will resume using the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine after the European medicines regulator declared it was "safe and effective".

Sweden says it will take a decision about its paused rollout next week.

Around a dozen countries had suspended its use earlier this week after reports of rare blood disorders in a handful of people who had recently received the jab.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the benefits outweigh the risks - and the vaccine is not linked to an "overall risk" of blood clots.

However, the agency's safety committee has also said it can't rule out a potential link with a "small number of cases" of a rare clotting disorder occurring after the vaccination.

It has therefore recommended that governments "raise awareness" of the possible effects by including them in product information.

"Drawing attention to these possible rare conditions and providing information to healthcare professionals and vaccinated people will help to spot and mitigate the possible side effects," said EMA executive director Emer Cooke.