The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there is no evidence that incidents involving blood clots are caused by the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19.
In a statement, the global health body said it was reviewing reports relating to the jab as it was good practice to investigate potential adverse events.
WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said the body was investigating the reports but said it was important that vaccination campaigns continued.
“As soon as WHO has gained a full understanding of these events, the findings and any unlikely changes to current recommendations will be immediately communicated to the public.
“As of today, there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and it is important that vaccination campaigns continue so that we can save lives and stem severe disease from the virus”, he added.
Germany on Monday joined 13 other European countries in halting vaccinations as a precaution.
There have been a number of cases in Europe of blood clots developing after the vaccine was administered.
However, experts indicated that the number of blood clots reported after the vaccine were no more than those typically reported within the general population.
AstraZeneca said about 17 million people in the EU and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week.
European Medical Association
The European Medical Association, which is also currently carrying out a review into incidents of blood clots, said the vaccine could continue to be administered.
The UK medicines regulator also said evidence “does not suggest” the jab causes clots, as it urged people in the country to get the vaccine when asked to do so.
Professor Andrew Pollard, the director of the Oxford vaccine group that developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, told BBC there was “very reassuring evidence that there is no increase in a blood clot phenomenon here in the UK, where most of the doses in Europe [have] been given so far”
AstraZeneca is safe-FDA
Ghana’s Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in a statement said the AstraZeneca vaccine currently being used in Ghana to vaccinate people against COVID-19, is safe despite reports that it is causing blood clots in some people in Europe.
Ghana was the first African country to take delivery of 600,000 doses of the vaccine a couple of weeks ago.
As of last week, 300,000 Ghanaians had been vaccinated.
So far, the Ghanaian health authorities have said they have experienced blood clots linked to the vaccine.
Read the FDA’s full statement below:
On 26th February 2021, the Food and Drugs Authority constituted a Committee of Experts — the Joint COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Review Committee (JCVSRC) — which meets bi-weekly to assess all reported adverse events and make recommendations on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.
At its meeting held on 12th March 2021, the JCVSRC discussed reports received through the FDA’s robust safety monitoring system since vaccinations started.
The most commonly reported adverse events are headaches, fever, chills, body pains, pain at the injection site, weakness, nausea, and dizziness.
These adverse events are expected from the vaccination and in most cases, resolved within a day or two.
Additionally, the JCVSRC discussed reports of blood clots in some countries in Europe following vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, leading to the suspension of vaccination for further investigations.
It concluded that there is currently no causal link between the event and the vaccine, a position that was subsequently upheld by the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization.
In view of the above, the FDA would like to reassure the public that it is closely monitoring this situation locally and to date, no events of blood clots linked to the Covishield vaccine have been reported among those who have been vaccinated in Ghana.
Generally, vaccines and medicines tend to have some side effects and this needs to be continually balanced against the expected benefits in preventing illnesses.
The Authority continues to work with its Committee of Experts, other regulators globally and will use its established safety monitoring system to support the vaccine program to ensure public health and safety.
A weekly safety will be made public on the FDA website: www.fdaghana.gov.gh For any vaccine safety-related information or to report side effects of COVID-19 vaccines, please contact the FDA through the following: Mobile: 024 4310 297 Email: drug.safety©️fdagov.gh Hotlines:055 1112 224/ 055 1112 225 Online: http://adr.fdaghana.gov.ghipatient.php WhatsApp: 055 1112 225 Med Safety App: Med Safety App —apple store/play store
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