Countries should continue to vaccinate with AstraZeneca’s anti-Covid-19 serum, the chief scientist of the World Health Organization said on Monday, which will convene its group of experts on Tuesday to study the safety of the vaccine.
“We don’t want people to panic and, for now, we recommend that countries continue to vaccinate with AstraZeneca,” Soumya Swaminathan told a press conference in Geneva, as several new countries have suspended as a precaution. administration of this vaccine after serious blood problems in vaccinated persons.
“So far, we have not found an association between these events and the vaccine,” she added.
The scientist also indicated that at this stage, the benefit of vaccination outweighs the risks associated with Covid-19.
“From what we have seen so far in the preliminary data, there is no increase in the number of cases of thromboembolic events,” she also said.
At the forefront of the international fight against the pandemic, the WHO has however announced that it will meet on Tuesday its group of experts on vaccination to study the safety of the vaccine developed by the Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca.
“The WHO Expert Advisory Group on Immunization has reviewed the data and is in close contact with the European Medicines Agency. And we will meet tomorrow,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus .
EMA will meet this week
The European Medicines Agency, EMA, on Monday reiterated its opinion that the benefits of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine continue to weigh more heavily in the balance than the risks of side effects. The agency continues to review known cases of “thromboembolic incidents” among people vaccinated with this product, she said. Its risk assessment committee will continue this work on Tuesday and will conclude at an extraordinary meeting convened on Thursday, announces the EMA.
The appearance of blood clots in some people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine prompted various states to suspend vaccination with this product on their soil, as of last week. Other states, such as France, did the same on Monday, “as a precaution”.