WHO Europe urges countries to keep using AstraZeneca COVID vaccine

FILE PHOTO: World Health Organisation’s Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge speaks during a news conference about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Eigtveds Pakhus, in Copenhagen, Denmark March 27, 2020. Ida Guldbaek Arentsen /Ritzau Scanpix/ via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – The benefits of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh any risks, and countries across Europe should continue to use it to help save lives in the pandemic, the World Health Organization’s European director Hans Kluge said on Thursday.

Kluge noted that Europe’s medicines regulators are investigating a small number of cases of blood clots in the region that have prompted around a dozen EU governments to suspend us of the AstraZeneca shot.

“As of now, we do not know whether some or all of the conditions have been caused by the vaccine or by other coincidental factors,” he said, adding: “At this point in time, however, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh its risks – and its use should continue, to save lives.”

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