WHO backs AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on March 18, 2021

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (file photo)   -  Reuters

This follows after major European nations temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine

World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that during vaccination campaigns, it is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunization.

However, this does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to the vaccination itself, but it is good practice to investigate them, WHO added.

The statement comes a week after major European nations temporarily suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, citing reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in some people who had received the vaccine.

WHO further said that vaccination against Covid-19 will not reduce illness or deaths from other causes. Thromboembolic events are known to occur frequently. Venous thromboembolism is the third most common cardiovascular disease globally.

Thromboembolism is a formation in a blood vessel of a clot (thrombus) that breaks loose and is carried by the bloodstream to plug another vessel.

The multilateral organization further said that it is in regular contact with the European Medicines Agency and regulators around the world for the latest information on Covid-19 vaccine safety.

The WHO COVID-19 Subcommittee of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is carefully assessing the latest available safety data for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Once that review is completed, WHO will immediately communicate the findings to the public, it said in an official release.

WHO further noted that at this time, it considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue.

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Published on March 18, 2021

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