WHO says no reason not to use AstraZeneca jab as countries halt rollouts

Geneva, Mar 12 (efe-epa).- The World Health Organisation on Friday urged countries to continue administering the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

Several nations in Europe have halted their rollouts following reports of blood clots forming in some people who had received the jab.

“AstraZeneca is an excellent vaccine, as are the other vaccines that are being used,” spokesperson Margaret Harris told a press conference in Geneva.

“There is no indication not to use it,” she added.

The WHO’s vaccine advisory committee is investigating the reports of blood clots as a precautionary measure, she said.

Denmark announced on Thursday it had paused its distribution of the vaccine developed by Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University, with Norway, Italy, Iceland and Romania also halting or limiting their own rollouts.

This week, Austria also suspended a batch of the vaccine after a patient developed multiple thrombosis and died 10 days after receiving the jab. Another person developed a pulmonary embolism but later recovered.

The European Medicines Agency, which is investigating the cases, said there was “no indication” that vaccination had caused the conditions, according to preliminary evidence.

The agency added in a statement Wednesday that early information suggested the number of thromboembolic events in vaccinated people was no higher than in the general population.

A spokesperson for the British government has insisted the AstraZeneca jab is “safe and effective”, adding that people should not hesitate to receive the vaccine when approached by health authorities.

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