Benefits of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine outweigh risks: WHO

The WHO headquarters in Geneva

GENEVA: The World Health Organizations’ (WHO) Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety has ruled that the benefits of vaccination with the UK-Swedish AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine outweigh the risks.

“The AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (including Covishield) continues to have a positive benefit-risk profile, with tremendous potential to prevent infections and reduce deaths across the world,” the committee said in a statement published Friday.

The document underscored that the Committee reviewed the information on AstraZeneca vaccine safety from Europe, India, and other states of the world.

Based on the “careful scientific review of the available information,” the Committee concluded that the data “do not suggest any overall increase in clotting conditions such as deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.”

“Reported rates of thromboembolic events after Covid-19 vaccines are in line with the expected number of diagnoses of these conditions,” the experts noted.

The Committee recommended all countries to continue monitoring the safety of all Covid-19 vaccines. It also agreed with the European Medicines Agency’s plans to further investigate and monitor for negative consequences of taking these vaccines.

Earlier, a number of countries suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccines over reports of blood clots appearing in patients’ major blood vessels after vaccinations.

In turn, AstraZeneca published a document, stating the safety of its vaccine underscoring that it made its safety conclusions based on examination of over 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom.

On March 18, the EU regulator deemed the vaccine safe and efficient. 


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