MADRID, April 7 (Reuters) - Madrid residents were broadly
confident about AstraZeneca's coronavirus shot on
Wednesday despite European and British regulators finding a
potential link between the vaccine and rare brain blood clots.
"If you read any package leaflet for any medicine, there are
always problems for a small number of people," said Pilar
Garcia, waiting in line to receive an AstraZeneca shot outside
Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano soccer stadium, which is
being used as mass vaccination centre.
"I think this is the same thing."
The European Union's EMA medicines regulator said on
Wednesday said it had reports of 169 brain clots after
administering 34 million doses.
"Today has been a very distressing day because of all the
news coming from the European Medicines Agency," said Madrid
resident Carmen Ruiz, shortly after receiving an injection.
Despite referring to mixed messages from authorities as an
"outrage" she decided to trust the EMA's advice that the
benefits of the drug outweighed the risks.
Some countries are only using AstraZeneca on limited age
groups and the EMA said European countries should make their own
decisions about how to handle the risk, given infection rates
and available alternatives.
Before the EMA announced its findings, authorities in the
Central Spanish region of Castile and Leon suspended the shot,
although the national government decided to carry on with it.
Spain's health minister is expected to announce new
guidelines on the shot after a summit of European health chiefs,
and to clarify rules for wearing masks on beaches.
The patchwork of national and regional rules governing the
vaccine exasperated 63-year-old Felicidad Gutierrez.
"(They say) it's no good, in some places it has been
suspended, but if we listened to everything they say we'd end up
doing nothing," she told Reuters after leaving the stadium.
"I decided to come anyway."
(Reporting by Guillermo Martinez and Elena Rodriguez;
Writing by Nathan Allen;
Editing by Alison Williams)