After several European Union countries temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, the World Health Organization said Wednesday that the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its risks and vaccinations should continue.
The statement follows reports of rare blood clotting disorders in people who have received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. WHO notes that it’s routine for countries to signal potential adverse events during extensive vaccination campaigns, and it doesn’t necessarily mean the events are linked to the vaccination.
“Vaccination against COVID-19 will not reduce illness or deaths from other causes,” WHO said. “Thromboembolic events are known to occur frequently. Venous thromboembolism is the third most common cardiovascular disease globally.”
The statement said WHO is in regular contact with the European Medicine Agency and regulators around the world, and its Global Advisory Commission on Vaccine Safety is “carefully assessing” the latest safety data.
“Once that review is completed, WHO will immediately communicate the findings to the public,” it said.