Coronavirus investigation

The WHO Finally Speaks Out About The Dreaded AstraZeneca Vaccine

Several European countries have suspended the use of one batch of the drug as a precaution in the face of some cases of thrombosis

Distrust has surrounded vaccination against coronavirus since the first day it was announced that the drugs were authorized and that the plan would be carried out in 2021, with the aim of putting an end to the virulent pandemic which we are still fighting against. The speed with which several laboratories have obtained the vaccine has aroused fears and insecurities among the public from the very beginning.

Health authorities around the world have fought against this mistrust, guaranteeing the safety of the drugs, which have already vaccinated millions of people worldwide. But there is some information that raises fears among the population. Right now, that fear has a specific name: AstraZeneca.

The fact that several countries such as Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway, Iceland and Thailand, and even some Spanish regions have decided to suspend the injection of a certain batch of AstraZeneca's vaccine due to different cases of thrombosis in patients after vaccination has made some citizens concerned. The truth is that, for the moment,  in none of the cases has it been proven that the thrombosis or, in some cases, the death of the patient, was caused by the vaccine. 

Even with the inevitable distrust that the facts arouse, most citizens who have the opportunity to be vaccinated do so, even if they get the AstraZeneca vaccine. They consider that it is the only way to end the pandemic and prefer to assume the side effects that the injection may entail rather than fearing a coronavirus infection and all that it may involve: a serious state of health and/or infecting other loved ones.

In the face of the controversy surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine, the World Health Organization (WHO) has once again raised its voice with a reassuring message. The WHO assures that "there is no reason not to use" this drug against coronavirus. They consider that "it should continue to be administered". The organization is aware of the enormous concern that the suspension of AstraZeneca's use in some European countries has unleashed as a precaution. The experts are now investigating the various cases of thromboembolism that have occurred in patients after vaccination, although, as we pointed out, for the time being, they cannot be linked.

The decision of some European countries to temporarily suspend the use of a specific batch of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to certain coagulation problems in some people who received it, is only an act of precaution, according to the WHO, adding that the incidence of thrombi in people vaccinated with AstraZeneca is 0.01 compared to 116 in the general population.  

"No causal relationship has been proven"

"No deaths related to the administration of coronavirus vaccines have been detected to date,"  WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris said emphatically. More than 268 million doses of the drugs have already been administered to patients worldwide, according to the WHO's count, and they insist that no vaccine-related deaths have been detected. Thus, the few cases being investigated are a tiny percentage and, moreover, cannot even be considered exceptions to the safety of the vaccine, as they are not related to the injection for the time being. "It has been decided as a precautionary measure pending a full investigation," Harris said regarding the decision of some countries to suspend vaccination with AstraZeneca.

"Episodes of blood clotting are common in people, so it's not clear whether this was something that was going to happen or whether the vaccine was responsible for it," Harris added, making it clear that, for now, "a causal relationship has not been proven." Still, it is important to investigate any case, which is why the WHO's Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) is currently studying the reports on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

[This is a translation of the original article "La OMS habla claro por fin sobre la temida vacuna de AstraZeneca" published in]