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Italy, Spain and other EU states will renew AstraZeneca rollout

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French Prime Minister Jean Castex said the country would resume using the jab on Thursday, adding he will receive the vaccine on Friday afternoon.

“The AstraZeneca Covid-19 is effective, as underlined by the European regulator. It only has relatively rare side effects … it has a positive risk/reward ratio,” Mr Castex said.

Spanish authorities said they will continue the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine next week while Italy is resuming its use from as early as Friday.

Latvia, Lithuania and Cyprus have also announced they will resume the vaccine rollout.

However Sweden said it would extend the its pause of the AstraZeneca vaccine until next week as authorities highlighted the case of a previously healthy woman who died about a week after being vaccinated with the jab.

Meanwhile, Ireland will announce a decision on the jab on Friday, deputy chief medical officer Ronan Glynn said.

More than a dozen European nations halted its use earlier this week amid concern over reports of blood clots among a small number of people who have received it.

That led to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to launch an investigation into the cases. On Thursday afternoon, the regulator declared the Covid-19 vaccine is “safe and effective”, leading a string of EU countries to announce it would resume using the jab as early.

The European regulator said it “cannot rule out definitively” a link between “a small number of cases of rare and unusual but very serious blood clotting disorders” and the vaccine, though investigations were ongoing.

European Medicines Agency (EMA) Executive Director, Emer Cooke, appears on screen during a video conference in Brussels

/ POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Emer Cooke, EMA executive director, said this situation was not unexpected, adding that “when you vaccinate millions of people” such reports of rare events will occur.

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