WHO and the EMA are investigating reports of blood clot-related injuries and deaths after the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, but both say there’s no reason to stop using the vaccines.
More than 20 countries have either suspended or said they will delay Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinations based on reports of deaths or injuries — in most cases related to blood clots — in healthy people who received the vaccine.
Prosecutors in Northern Italy announced Monday they had seized a batch of 393,600 shots of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine following the death of a 57-year-old man hours after he was vaccinated, reported Reuters.
Meanwhile the World Health Organization (WHO) is standing firm in its support of the vaccine. In a press conference today, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “This does not necessarily mean these events [deaths and injuries] are linked to the vaccine, but it’s routine practice to investigate them, and it shows that the surveillance system works and effective controls are in place.”
According to news reports, WHO’s vaccine safety experts were meeting today to discuss the vaccine. WHO had previously said that an ongoing analysis by its vaccines advisory committee has not established a causal link between the vaccine and blood clots and countries should keep using it, reported The Telegraph.
Regulators in Europe also defended the vaccine telling news outlets that the “benefits outweigh the risks.” Still, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is investigating reports of blood clots in vaccine recipients and will release its findings Thursday, according to Nasdaq.com.