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WHO says AstraZeneca vaccine safe, effective

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has counseled countries to sustain the inoculation of their citizens through the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19, noting that the jab was safe and effective.

WHO advisory was a response to the suspension of the vaccine’s use by 10 European countries, following claims of blood clot associated with its use.

According to the global health watchdog spokesperson, Margaret Harris, Who was aware of “blood clot concerns linked to a specific batch of AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine.”

“As of 9 March, there have been over 268 million doses of vaccine delivered since the start of the pandemic.

“Based on data reported – that’s data reported to WHO by national governments – no causes of death have been found or been caused by COVID-19 vaccines to date,” Harris stated.

She said the claim about the AstraZeneca vaccine was being investigated by the organisation’s independent expert global advisory board, SAGE, and that its report would be made public, but that countries should not stop its inoculation.

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She said blood clotting episodes were “common occurrence in people, so, it’s not clear if this is something that is going to happen, or whether the vaccine is responsible,” adding that “a causal relationship has not been shown.”
She said the risk assessment committee of the European Union medical agencies’, Pharmacovigilance, had vouched for the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying that its “benefits outweigh the risks.”

Meanwhile, some European countries, including Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Italy and Thailand have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, while investigating the suspicion that incidences of blood clot in some patients that were inoculated could have been caused by the vaccine.

Denmark was first to suspend administering the AstraZeneca vaccine, for two weeks, after a 60-year-old woman who had been inoculated had blood clot and died.

The suspension, the Danish government said, “follows reports of serious cases of blood clots among people vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine,” adding “it has not been determined, at the time being, that there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots.”
The WHO approved the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, on February 15, this year.

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