WHO recommends that vaccinations with AstraZeneca jab continue
Some countries in the EU have temporarily suspended use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in persons who had received the vaccine.
JOHANNESBURG – The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement on Wednesday indicating that it considered that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweighed its risks and it recommended that vaccinations continue.
Some countries in the European Union have temporarily suspended use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as a precautionary measure based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in persons who had received the vaccine. Other countries in the EU – having considered the same information - have decided to continue using the vaccine in their immunisation programmes.
“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.
“In extensive vaccination campaigns, it is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunisation. This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to vaccination itself, but it is good practice to investigate them. It also shows that the surveillance system works and that effective controls are in place.
The WHO said it was in regular contact with the European Medicines Agency and regulators around the world for the latest information on COVID-19 vaccine safety.
“The WHO 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.”