The World Health Organisation said on Friday that there was no reason to stop using AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after several European countries suspended vaccination over blood clot fears.
The WHO said its vaccines advisory committee was already looking at safety data and stressed that no causal link had been established between the vaccines and clotting.
Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Italy and Romania have postponed or limited the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccines following isolated reports of recipients developing blood clots.
“AstraZeneca is an excellent vaccine, as are the other vaccines that are being used,” WHO spokeswoman, Margaret Harris, told reporters at a briefing in Geneva.
“We’ve reviewed the data on deaths. There has been no death, to date, proven to have been caused by vaccination,” she said.
“Yes, we should continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine,” she added, stressing though that “any safety signal must be investigated.”
“We must always ensure that we look for any safety signals when we roll out vaccines, and we must review them,” she said.
“But there is no indication to not use it.”
Bulgaria is the latest European country to suspend the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine
Prime Minister Boyko Borisov who announced Bulgaria’s suspension of the vaccine yesterday said the order would remain in force “until the European Medicines Agency dismisses all doubts about its safety.”
The EMA announced on Thursday that countries can keep using AstraZeneca’s vaccine while it probes cases of blood clots that prompted the suspension of particular batches of the vaccine or all jabs with it in several countries.
But Borisov insisted yesterday that vaccinations should stop until the country received “a written statement with an accurate and clearly confirmed diagnosis; can we or cannot we administer it.”