No reason to stop using AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine: WHO

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The World Health Organization said Friday there was no reason to stop using AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after several European countries suspended the roll-out over blood clot fears.

“Yes, we should continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters, adding: “There is no indication to not use it”.

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Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Bulgaria have temporarily suspended AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shots after reports of cases of blood clots forming, including one in Denmark.

AstraZeneca cut its supply forecast of COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union in the first quarter to about 30 million doses, a third of its contractual obligations and a 25 percent drop from pledges made last month, a document seen by Reuters shows.

The shortfall is a further blow to EU’s vaccination plans already being hampered by repeated delays in supply and a slow rollout in some nations.

The new cut follows a decision last week by Italy and the European Commission to block a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines from Italy to Australia, in the first application of an EU mechanism that allows the bloc to refuse export requests from vaccine makers that do not comply with EU supply contracts.

Read more:

Denmark halts AstraZeneca vaccine due to serious cases of blood clots

Science says it’s safe, but some in France don’t trust AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

AstraZeneca cuts EU vaccine supply target to 30.1 mln in March: Document