WHO; Appeals to the World to Continue to Use AstraZeneca's COVID-19 Vaccine
UMMATIMES - The World Health Organization, WHO, again appealed to countries in the world not to stop using the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The latest data from the vaccine safety panel, WHO said, do not show a link between blood clots and the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
In addition, WHO stated that the largest percentage of the COVID-19 vaccine that they distribute via COVAX is also still dominated by AstraZeneca. Therefore, if countries avoid using the AstraZeneca vaccine, then the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX is in vain.
"The AstraZeneca vaccine is very important because it represents 90 percent of the COVID-19 vaccines distributed via COVAX ... COVID-19 is a dangerous disease and AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine can prevent it," said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Previously reported, dozens of countries had stopped the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine because the circulation of the suspicion that the vaccine caused blood clots. This stems from a report in Denmark that an elderly 60 year old died of blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
It was suspected that the trigger for the blood clotting was not the AstraZeneca vaccine in general, but the batch that Austria happened to use. However, recently, this allegation was dismissed after a WHO panel of 12 experts reviewed the safety data for AstraZeneca vaccines from Europe, Britain, India and from the WHO itself.
From the results of this study, there was no evidence that the AstraZeneca vaccine could cause blood clots, as was feared by various parties. It turns out that what causes the blood clots is the COVID-19 virus itself. Blood clots are one of the symptoms it causes.
"Even though we received reports about blood clots occurring after the COVID-19 vaccination with AstraZeneca products was carried out, there is no definite evidence that this was due to vaccination. And, this is a very rare and unique case," said Ghebreyesus. Referring to the previous news, there were approximately 30 cases of blood clots that occurred after vaccination.
Following WHO's statement, drug regulators in Europe (EMA) and the UK (MHRA) said the benefits of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine far outweighed the risks. However, as a precaution, they stated that they would update the guidelines for using the AstraZeneca vaccine.
"This includes explaining to patients about the potential risks of vaccination and information for health workers on how to find out whether vaccine recipients need medical assistance or not," said EMA Director Emer Cooke.
It should be noted, AstraZeneca is one of the most sought-after vaccines for COVID-19 because of its ease of storage and distribution. In comparison, COVID-19 vaccines with mRNA technology such as Pfizer and Moderna require special refrigerants that not all countries can afford.