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World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Source: Reuters
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  • Australia will continue to roll out AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, despite the jab being temporarily suspended in a growing number of E.U. nations
  • It comes after concerns were raised about a number of fatal blood clot cases observed in patients who recently received the inoculation
  • The European medicines watchdog is investigating the concerns and will meet with the World Health Organisation to discuss the issue this week
  • To date, both the drugmaker and the European Medicines Agency have found no link between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and blood clotting

Australia will continue to roll out the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, despite the jab being temporarily suspended from being used in a growing number of E.U. nations.

Germany is the latest country to suspend the immunisation, as inquiries continue into whether or not the vaccine is linked to a number of fatal blood clotting incidents in vaccinated patients in Europe.

The European medicines watchdog is investigating the blood clotting concerns alongside a number of E.U. countries’ own health regulators.

The European Medicines Agency will also meet with the World Health Organisation to discuss the issue sometime this week.

Ahead of the meeting, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the evidence so far showed the vaccine was safe.

“Several more countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines as a precautionary measure, after reports of blood clots in people who had received the vaccine from two batches produced in Europe,” he said.

“This does not necessarily mean these events are linked to vaccination, but it’s routine practice to investigate them, and it shows that the surveillance system works and that effective controls are in place,” he added.

Additionally, both the drugmaker and the EMA have found no link between AstraZeneca’s vaccine and blood clots.

Meanwhile, the vaccine is one of several flagship jabs being rolled out across the world, including in Australia where senior frontbenchers have backed AstraZeneca’s safety record.

“The European equivalent of the TGA, as well as the World Health Organisation, have said the AstraZeneca vaccine is effective, and there’s no evidence of causation between the vaccine itself and the blood clots,” Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told ABC.

“In the case of the United Kingdom, they’ve already distributed more than 12 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and they haven’t seen those trends or patterns across the community” he added.

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