16th March, 2021
World Health Organisation (WHO) said its advisory committee will meet today on the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine, as more EU countries dump it, temporarily.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus disclosed the meeting on Monday.
WHO had said last week there was no proven link between the vaccine and reported cases of blood clot.
EU medicines regulator EMA will also convene this week to assess the information gathered into whether the AstraZeneca shot contributed to thromboembolic events in those inoculated
Germany, France and Italy were the latest European countries on Monday to suspend AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots after several countries reported possible serious side-effects.
The decision by the European Union’s three biggest countries to put inoculations with the AstraZeneca shot on hold threw the already struggling vaccination campaign in the 27-nation EU into disarray.
Denmark and Norway stopped giving the shot last week after reporting isolated cases of bleeding, blood clots and a low platelet count.
Iceland and Bulgaria followed suit and Ireland and the Netherlands announced suspensions on Sunday.
Spain will stop using the vaccine for at least 15 days, Cadena Ser radio reported, citing unnamed sources.
The top WHO scientist reiterated on Monday that there have been no documented deaths linked to COVID-19 vaccines.
“We do not want people to panic,” Soumya Swaminathan said on a virtual media briefing.
He said there has been no association, so far, pinpointed between so-called “thromboembolic events” reported in some countries and COVID-19 shots.
The moves by some of Europe’s largest and most populous countries will deepen concerns about the slow rollout of vaccines in the region, which has been plagued by shortages due to problems producing vaccines, including AstraZeneca’s.
The United Kingdom said it had no concerns, while Poland said it thought the benefits outweighed any risks.
Source Reuters via NAN