European Medical Agency (EMA) will release its investigation results on Thursday afternoon into incidents of bleeding, blood clots, and low platelet counts after AstraZeneca Plc’s (NASDAQ: AZN) coronavirus vaccine, reports Reuters.
What Happened: EMA Executive Director Emer Cooke said there was no indication that the incidents, which she called “very rare”, but that experts were assessing that possibility.
“The benefits continue to outweigh the risks, but this is a serious concern and it does need serious and detailed scientific evaluation. This is what we are involved in at the moment,” Cooke told a news conference.
Sweden and Latvia suspended the use of the vaccine, bringing more than a dozen EU countries to act since reports first emerged of thromboembolisms, thus increasing the pressure on health experts to clear the air.
The EU’s largest members - Germany, France, and Italy - suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine yesterday.
Why It Matters: The WHO and EMA had earlier favored AstraZeneca and said there was no proven link. According to some experts, the episodes of blood clots seemed to indicate a connection to the AstraZeneca shot.
In Europe’s largest countries, including Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, AstraZeneca accounted for about 13-15% of shots, with Pfizer-BioNTech making up the majority, according to official data.
Slow start due to scarce supply has put Europe’s vaccination campaigns off track. Still, the European Commission expects to receive over 200 million doses of Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE) / BioNTech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX) vaccine in the second quarter, putting the EU on course to meet its targets.
While the company’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has hit a bumpy road, it has been working on developing new treatments to prevent and treat coronavirus infections, including COVID-19 combination therapy.
AstraZeneca will supply up to 500 thousand extra doses of its experimental AZD7442 to the U.S.
The $205 million U.S. extension for these additional antibody doses builds on a contract agreed with government agencies in October for initial supplies of 200,000 doses.
The total value of the deal now stands at $726 million for up to 700,000 doses. AZD7442 is being evaluated in late-stage trials.
Price Action: AZN shares are trading 2.85% at $50.14 in market trading hours on the last check Tuesday.