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WHO Europe Says Benefits Of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 Vaccine Outweigh Any Risk

WHO Europe Says Benefits Of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 Vaccine Outweigh Any Risk
Even as more than 20 nations of the European Union suspending the use of the Covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca, jointly developed with the Oxford University, over concerns of alleged blood clotting in a few cases after the vaccine was administered, faith in the vaccine was reiterated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday.
Europe's Director of the WHO Hans Kluge said any potential and yet unverified risk of the AstraZeneca vaccine was much less than the overall benefits of the vaccine that has been rolled out all across the world. Countries should continue to use the vaccine to save as many lives as possible from the pandemic, he also added.
Following the emergence of a number of reports of blood clots and brain haemorrhages in people who had received the vaccine, a number of countries in Europe and elsewhere – including Denmark, France, Venezuela and Indonesia, have said that they would no longer use the vaccine until the cases were sorted out.
Incident of a small number of cases of blood clots in the EU region is being investigated by the medicines regulators of Europe, Kluge noted.
"As of now, we do not know whether some or all of the conditions have been caused by the vaccine or by other coincidental factors," he said, adding: "At this point in time, however, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh its risks – and its use should continue, to save lives."
While urging the governments that have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to continue to use it to save lives on Wednesday, WHO experts also said that it was looking into the safety aspects of the vaccine following the suspension of the use of the vaccine by a slew of countries over health fears, as per an AFP report.
After a number of countries reported feared links with blood clots or brain haemorrhage, the WHO, Europe's medicines regulator and AstraZeneca itself have repeatedly said the vaccine was safe.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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