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A member of school staff receives the vaccine for COVID 19 by AstraZeneca on CUS Turin University Sports Center on Sunday in Turin, Italy. Photo: Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

AstraZeneca announced Sunday a comprehensive review has found "no evidence" that its COVID-19 vaccine causes an increased risk of blood clots.

Why it matters: Authorities in Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Iceland have paused administering the vaccine because of clotting concerns, per Reuters.

  • Austria suspended its AstraZeneca rollout while authorities investigated the death of one person who had received a dose, per Reuters.

What they're saying: AstraZeneca said in a statement that it had conducted a "careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union" and the U.K.

  • It showed "no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombocytopenia, in any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country," the company said.
  • There have been 15 events of DVT and 22 events of pulmonary embolism reported across this region among those given the vaccine, per AstraZeneca.
  • "This is much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed COVID-19 vaccines," it noted.
"Furthermore, in clinical trials, even though the number of thrombotic events was small, these were lower in the vaccinated group. There has also been no evidence of increased bleeding in over 60,000 participants enrolled."

Of note: European Medicines Agency is investigating incidents of blood clots concerning AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine, developed with Oxford University.

  • But the agency has said the benefits "currently still outweigh risks."

The big picture: AstraZeneca has been authorized for use in the EU and also by the World Health Organization, paving the way for the COVAX initiative that's designed to ensure that every country has access to COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The company is expected to file for U.S. approval later this month or early April, according to Reuters.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbers

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Two new Biden administration initiatives — mailing at-home COVID-19 tests to those who ask and making free N95 masks available — are hugely popular, each backed by 84% of Americans in the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Yes, but: Those who may need these most — the unvaccinated — are less likely to take advantage of the offerings, the survey found. And neither has boosted President Biden's numbers so far, meaning it's too little too late, or too soon to see a change.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.

Alabama's new congressional map rejected by federal judges

The Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery. Photo: Taylor Hill/Getty Images

Federal judges on Monday night blocked Alabama's newly drawn congressional map and ordered the Republican-led State Legislature to create a new one that includes two districts, rather than the planned one.

Why it matters: "Black voters have less opportunity than other Alabamians to elect candidates of their choice to Congress," the panel of three judges wrote in their ruling.