Tuesday, April 20, 2021

WHO Recommends Use of COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccine

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By: Kebba AF Touray

The World Health Organization (WHO) in a press release said the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweighs its risks and thus recommended for the use of the vaccine to continue.

According to WHO, 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.

“World Health Organization 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,” said the world health body.  

WHO said in extensive vaccination campaigns, it is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunization. This, WHO said, 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 control are in place. 

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It said that other countries in the EU having considered the same information have decided to continue using the vaccine in their immunization programs. 

“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,” said WHO. 

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