The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that more than 300 million new doses of coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines developed by different companies globally have been administered and no vaccine-related deaths have been detected.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus held a press conference via video conference at the organisation’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Ghebreyesus said the WHO’s Advisory Committee on Global Vaccine Safety will meet tomorrow after the covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca was discontinued in some countries.
Ghebreyesus stated that the Committee is in contact with the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the drug regulator of the European Union (EU), and said:
“But the biggest threat facing most countries right now is the lack of access to Covid-19 vaccines. Almost every day I get calls from senior politicians from around the world asking me when they will supply vaccines under COVAX. Some people’s hopes have been dashed, and I understand why. They see that some of the richest countries in the world have bought enough vaccines to vaccinate their populations over and over again when there are no vaccines in their own countries.”
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“So far, after more than 300 million doses of different (Covid-19) vaccines have been administered worldwide, there are no documented deaths linked to Covid-19 vaccines,” said Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist of the WHO Science Committee, who answered questions about the AstraZeneca vaccine after Ghebreyesus’ speech.
Swaminathan urged people using AstraZeneca and other vaccines not to “panic.” Reminding that covid-19 virus has caused millions of deaths, Swaminathan underlined that vaccination is essential to end the epidemic.
Since last week, some countries have stopped using the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, citing clotting in the blood in a small number of people. On February 10th, the WHO recommended that the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca be used in adults, including people over the age of 65.