The World Health Organization (WHO) said that it still recommends using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine as the benefits outweigh its risks.
“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,” the WHO said in a statement on Wednesday.
The statement came after a growing number of countries in the European Union suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine as a precautionary measure, based on reports of blood clots in persons who had received the vaccine, reports Xinhua news agency.
“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,” the statement added.
Currently, the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is still assessing the latest available safety data for the AstraZeneca vaccine, while keeping in touch with the European Medicines Agency and other regulators around the world for latest safety information.
The WHO said it will immediately communicate the findings to the public once that review is completed.