The World Health Organization’s vaccine safety panel said on Friday that data from AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot do not point to any overall increase in clotting conditions but it would continue to monitor its effects.
“The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine (including Covishield) continues to have a positive benefit-risk profile, with tremendous potential to prevent infections and reduce deaths across the world,” the WHO’s global advisory committee on vaccine safety said in a statement issued after its independent experts met on Tuesday and on Thursday to review data.
Europe too pushed to get its COVID-19 vaccination drive back on track on Friday after EU and British regulators said the benefits of AstraZeneca‘s shot outweighed any risks following reports of blood clots.
As variants of the virus spread, the global death toll has climbed beyond 2.8 million.
Safety concerns had led at least 13 European countries to stop administering the shot, slowing an already faltering inoculation campaign across the European Union, which is lagging Britain and the United States.
Europe’s leaders say they need to accelerate their vaccination drive, with deaths in the EU topping 550,000, less than a 10th of the bloc’s population inoculated and growing signs of an imminent third wave of infections.
Germany, Italy and others countries including Indonesia began on Friday to administer the shots they had suspended after reports of about 30 cases of rare brain blood clots sent scientists and governments scrambling to determine any link.