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No cases of blood clotting in Malta from vaccine

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As it stands, Malta has not recorded any cases of blood clotting in those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to Health Minister Chris Fearne. The minster spoke alongside the Prime Minister Robert Abela and Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci, during the same press conference regarding the easing of COVID-19 measures, which we covered earlier here.

“We have had no cases of thrombosis linked to AstraZeneca despite a rumour that was doing the rounds this week,” said the health minister.

He added that the European Medicines Agency (the EMA) has not yet advised against the administering of the vaccine, and that so far, the benefits outweigh the risks. Chris Fearne said that this evening he will convene with his European counterparts, as well as the EMA, to discuss the issue at hand and added that the agency was expected to provide some guidance regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine sometime this week.

Just yesterday, a senior official at EMA told an Italian daily that “it is clear” that there was a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare form of blood clot, but the cause is still unknown. What’s more, there have been concerns that the risk of extremely rare blood clots could be marginally higher among younger people.

Other European countries such as Germany and the Netherlands have restricted the vaccine to those over the age of 60 and France has restricted it to those over 55. In the meantime, the UK is also advising against young people, at least those under the age of 30, taking the vaccine.

Fearne assured the public that in the coming weeks, the Johnson and Johnson vaccine would arrive on our shores. He said that even if the guidelines suggested that the vaccination programme for the AstraZeneca vaccine had to be put on hold, the country still had other vaccines available to take.

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