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WHO Statement on AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Signals

Some countries in the European Union have temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19. This is a precautionary measure taken on the basis of reports of rare blood clotting disorders in people who had been vaccinated. Other countries in the European Union, after reviewing the same information, have decided to continue using this vaccine as part of their immunization programs.

Vaccination against COVID-19 does not reduce the number of illnesses or deaths from other causes. Thromboembolic manifestations are known to occur frequently, with venous thromboembolism being the third most common cardiovascular disease worldwide.

During large-scale immunization campaigns, it is normal for countries to report any adverse events following immunization. This does not necessarily mean that these manifestations are related to the vaccination itself, but it is recommended that they be investigated. It also shows that the surveillance system is working and that effective controls have been put in place.

WHO maintains regular contact with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and regulatory bodies around the world with the aim of obtaining the most recent information about the safety of COVID-19 vaccines . The WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (SAGE) is currently conducting a careful assessment of the latest available data on the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Once this review is completed, WHO will immediately publish the findings.

At this time, WHO believes the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks and recommends continued vaccination.

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