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Benefits of AstraZeneca vaccine 'outweigh risks', WHO declares
17 March 2021, 14:11
The World Health Organisation has said the "benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks" as some European countries suspend its use over fears of blood clots.
The jab - developed by Oxford University - has been widely used across the UK, but fears were raised over if it can cause blood clots.
But a statement from the WHO said: "Vaccination against COVID-19 will not reduce illness or deaths from other causes. Thromboembolic events are known to occur frequently. Venous thromboembolism is the third most common cardiovascular disease globally.
"In extensive vaccination campaigns, it is routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunization.
"This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to vaccination itself, but it is good practice to investigate them. It also shows that the surveillance system works and that effective controls are in place."
It added: "At this time, WHO considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue."
It comes as EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen accused AstraZeneca of "underproducing and underdelivering" in vaccine production and said Europe is "ready to use whatever tool we need" to get their fair share.
Ms von der Leyen said in a statement that the start of the vaccine rollout was "tough" but says that "progress has been made".
The Commission boss then went on to accuse vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca of "underproducing and underdelivering", and blamed the company for delays to the EU's vaccine programme.
She also said the epidemiological situation is "getting worse" in EU and said it is becoming "worrisome".
Ms von dey Leyen also said there is the "crest of a third wave forming in member states" and commented on the incresing number of new variants.