1 min read.Updated: 13 Mar 2021, 03:18 PM ISTLeroy Leo
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said late Friday, “As soon as WHO has gained a full understanding of these events, the findings and any changes to our current recommendations will be communicated immediately to the public”
NEW DELHI: The World Health Organization’s global advisory committee on vaccine safety is assessing data from side-effects of blood clots that were formed in some people in Europe who took AstraZeneca’s covid-19 vaccine, director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said late Friday.
“As soon as WHO has gained a full understanding of these events, the findings and any changes to our current recommendations will be communicated immediately to the public," Ghebreyesus said at a press conference.
The assessment follows reports that some people of the people who received doses of the vaccine from two batches had blood clots, following which Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and a few other countries in Europe halted use of the viral-vector vaccine.
Denmark’s decision on Thursday came a few days after Austria suspended use of a particular batch of the jab following the death of a woman 10 days after taking the dose.
However, despite the ongoing assessment, the WHO backed use of the vaccine, saying that the risks its use pose still outweigh that of the covid-19 pandemic, which has so far killed over 2.6 million people globally.
The issues are specific to two batches that were manufactured at one of AstraZeneca’s facilities in Europe and do not put at risk the doses manufactured at its other facilities in Europe and other parts of the world as well as those made by AstraZeneca’s manufacturing partners Serum Institute of India and South Korea-based SK Biosciences, WHO officials said.
In India, Serum Institute of India is manufacturing the vaccines under the brand ‘Covishield’ at its facility in Pune, and is supplying the doses to India and abroad, including to the WHO-led Covax facility that is aimed at providing equitable access to covid-19 vaccines globally.
So far, over 20 million people have received at least one, if not two, doses of Covishield, over 10 times the number of people who have received Bharat Biotech International Ltd’s Covaxin.