Following the European Medicines Agency's safety committee's review of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca at its extraordinary meeting of 18 March 2021, Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, made the following statement:
"Security and trust in vaccines is key for vaccinations. The priority of the Commission has always been the safety and the efficacy of any COVID-19 vaccine authorised for use in the EU. This is why we have ensured that all vaccines, before being administered, go through the rigorous and independent safety scrutiny of the European Medicines Agency. This has always been non-negotiable for us. The EU conditional marketing authorisation also requires a robust pharmacovigilance system to ensure that any possible medicine related problem, however rare it is, does not go undetected.
As the European Medicines Agency has clearly stated today, the benefits of the vaccine in combating COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks of side effects. It is an effective and safe vaccine that greatly contributes to the efforts to address the impact of COVID-19 and the very serious health risks of an infection. Vaccination is one of our strongest means to put a durable end to the pandemic and we must all continue our efforts to ensure that the roll-out is proceeding as quickly as possible whilst ensuring that the rigorous safety monitoring continues as part of the EU pharmacovigilance process."
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