Covid-19: WHO insists on AstraZeneca vaccine for Nigeria, other nations

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has insisted on the continuous use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in Nigeria and other nations despite controversies surrounding the drug.

In a statement on its website Wednesday, the United Nations health agency said the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and urged countries to continue its use.

It would be recalled that some countries in Europe have suspended the administration of the vaccine to their citizens, citing the need to take precaution over reports of blood clotting in persons that had received the vaccine.

However, Nigeria and a few other nations decided to continue with the use of the vaccine.

The WHO maintained that there was no link between the vaccine and blood clots, saying it was still investigating the claims.

The statement read: “Vaccination against COVID-19 will not reduce illness or deaths from other causes. Thromboembolic events are known to occur frequently. Venous thromboembolism is the third most common cardiovascular disease globally.

“In extensive vaccination campaigns, it is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunization.

“This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to the vaccination itself, but it is good practice to investigate them. It also shows that the surveillance system works and effective controls are in place.

“WHO is in regular contact with the European Medicines Agency and regulators around the world for the latest information on COVID-19 vaccine safety.

“The WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is carefully assessing the latest available safety data for the AstraZeneca vaccine. Once that review is completed, the WHO will immediately communicate the findings to the public.

“At this time, WHO considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue.”

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