Lifestyle

Australia’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly stands by AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine despite clotting fears

The World Health Organisation is urging countries not to panic as Europe’s biggest nations suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Germany, France and Italy have stopped using the vaccine over concerns about blood clots.

The jab has been widely used in the UK with no major issues.

But after some patients developed countries in Europe, countries like the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway suspended the vaccine’s rollout.

There are no proven links between the vaccines and the clots.

France, Germany and Italy are halting the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine. Credit: AP

The WHO is asking countries to continue using the jab.

Australia is rolling out the AstraZeneca vaccine and local production is ramping up, with more than 50 million doses to be produced.

Chief medical officer Paul Kelly maintains the vaccine chosen as Australia’s mainstay is safe and effective.

Most Australians will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19, the first doses of which have been imported, but most will be made by CSL in Melbourne.

Professor Kelly said there was no evidence that the AstraZeneca vaccine caused blood clots.

“The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is effective, it is safe, and it’s a high-quality vaccine.”

PAUL KELLY CORONAVIRUS UPDATE
Chief medical officer Paul Kelly says the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective. Credit: AAP

Prof Kelly said more than 11 million people had been vaccinated in the UK without evidence of an increase in blood clots.

He said while it was important to carefully monitor any unusual events, these incidents could not necessarily be blamed on vaccines.

Prof Kelly spoke to British and European medicine regulators on Sunday night.

Because of Australia’s close working relationship with European counterparts, the Therapeutic Goods Administration was always one of the first to be notified about possible problems with coronavirus vaccines.

“As noted by the European Medicines Agency, the action taken by several European countries is a precautionary measure so that a full investigation can be rapidly conducted,” he said.

“Vaccination programs with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are continuing in other countries.”

AstraZeneca
Germany has temporarily suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, officials say. Credit: REUTERS

Prof Kelly said Australia had strong and clear protocols around reporting adverse reactions.

WHO spokeswoman Dr Margaret Harris said findings in relation to the AstraZeneca vaccine would be released as soon as they were available, but a causal relationship to blood clots “has not been shown”.

“The panel had taken the position that the jab should continue to be administered, while an investigation of cases of these thrombo-embolic events is ongoing,” she said.

Federal and state health authorities are pressing ahead with the national immunisation program.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC COVID19
Several European countries have suspended use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Credit: EPA

More than 164,000 people have now been vaccinated, including about 40,000 aged care residents across 437 facilities.

“Those numbers are growing every single day,” Health Minister Greg Hunt told parliament.

Hunt is hopeful CSL will soon be able to manufacture one million doses of the vaccine each week.

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

More in:Lifestyle

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *