WHO urges world not to halt vaccinations as AstraZeneca shot divides Europe

WHO urges world not to halt vaccinations as AstraZeneca shot divides Europe
  • Clock-gray 21:02
  • calendar-gray 15 March 2021

The World Health Organization appealed to countries on Monday not to pause vaccination campaigns after two more European nations and one in Asia joined a handful which have suspended use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine over safety fears, APA reports citing Reuters.

Thailand announced plans on Monday to go ahead with the Anglo-Swedish firm’s shot but Indonesia said it would wait after Ireland and the Netherlands announced suspensions on Sunday.

Denmark and Norway have reported isolated cases of bleeding, blood clots and a low platelet count after the AstraZeneca vaccine. Iceland and Bulgaria had earlier suspended its use while Austria and Italy have stopped using particular batches.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom say they have no concerns.

The WHO said its advisory panel was reviewing reports related to the shot and would release its findings as soon as possible. But it said it was unlikely to change its recommendations, issued last month, for widespread use, including in countries where the South African variant of the virus may reduce its efficacy.

“As of today, there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and it is important that vaccination campaigns continue so that we can save lives and stem severe disease from the virus,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier said.

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