Health authorities and scientists threw their weight behind AstraZeneca PLC’s Covid-19 vaccine, but beleaguered European governments that have suspended its use defended their caution.
The European Union’s medicines regulator said Tuesday that the benefits of using AstraZeneca’s vaccine outweigh possible risks, after similar comments Monday by the World Health Organization, despite reports that some people who had received it suffered blood clots and several of them had died.
Germany, France, Italy and Spain on Monday temporarily stopped giving the shots, further slowing the EU’s already sluggish vaccine rollout and threatening the vaccine’s public credibility.
The EU’s European Medicines Agency is assessing information on the vaccine and the blood-clot cases. It plans to report its findings on Thursday.
Politicians in many EU countries that have been battered by the coronavirus pandemic, its resulting economic shock and recent problems launching vaccination campaigns said they are acting from an abundance of caution.