“For the moment, the WHO believes that the risk / benefit balance tilts in favor of the AstraZeneca vaccine and recommends that the vaccinations continue,” said a press release from the UN agency on Wednesday, specifying that its experts, whose opinion is eagerly awaited, continue to “evaluate” the data concerning the health problems encountered by some people vaccinated with this product.
The WHO did not say when its experts, who met on Tuesday, would release their findings.
Like the WHO, which has been repeating the same message since last week, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also repeated on Tuesday that it is “firmly convinced” of the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid- 19.
About fifteen countries, including Germany, France and Italy, have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precaution, after reports of blood problems detected in vaccinated people, such as difficulty in coagulating or the formation of blood. clots (thrombosis), unrelated at this stage.
In its brief press release, the WHO also underlines that no link has yet been established and specifies that “thromboembolism events are frequent” and that venous thromboembolism is the third most frequent cardiovascular disease.
Earlier, during a press briefing by the WHO committee responsible for making recommendations on the use of vaccines, known by the acronym of SAGE, a technical advisor, Dr Annelies Wilder-Smith, had thus clarified that during the clinical trials of another anti-Covid vaccine, that of Johnson & Johnson, 10 patients in the cohort who received a placebo had experienced an episode of thrombosis compared to 14 in the cohort which had had an injection of the vaccine.
Out of 44,000 people participating in the trial, this difference of 4 people is “not significant”, she stressed.