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WHO backs use of AstraZeneca vaccine for virus

Published:Friday | March 19, 2021 | 4:40 PM
A nurse injects a patient with a dose of AstraZeneca vaccine in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Friday, March 19, 2021. (AP Photo/ Diomande Ble Blonde)

GENEVA — The World Health Organization’s expert committee on coronavirus vaccines says its review of the AstraZeneca vaccine indicates it has “tremendous potential to prevent infections and reduce deaths.”

In a statement published Friday, the WHO said “the available data do not suggest any overall increase in clotting conditions” and the reported rates of blood clots after vaccination with COVID-19 shots are in line with the expected number of diagnoses of these conditions.

WHO says while some very rare clots have been detected after a few people received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe, “it is not certain that they have been caused by vaccination.”

Similar to advice issued by the European Medicines Agency and governments across the continent this week, WHO says health officials and patients should be vigilant in monitoring any potential side effects from vaccines and report them.

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