After recent claims linking it to a severe side-effect, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is still being recommended for use by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The vaccine – co-developed by Oxford – has come under scrutiny as of recent after it’s been linked to multiple cases of ‘blood clotting,’ with some even resulting in death

Due to the rise in such instances, a handful of countries, primarily in the continent of Europe, decided to halt the rollout of the vaccine until further investigations are made into the claims. 

Norway, The Netherlands, and Denmark are among the countries that have suspended the use of AstraZeneca for their vaccination programs. Meanwhile, France and Germany, have resumed the use of the jab but limited it to specific age groups.  

Although inquiries into the vaccine have yet to exhibit a definite link to the development of blood clots, the European Medicines Agency’s Marco Cavaleri, who chairs the agency’s vaccine evaluation team, said there’s a clear relation between the clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

“In my opinion, we can now say it, it is clear that there is an association with the vaccine. However, we still do not know what causes this reaction,” Cavaleri told Il Messaggero.

However, the EMA itself has previously stated that it’s still reviewing the said link and conclusions have not been reached.

Despite its alleged causal link to blood clots in the brain, WHO is still recommending the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The United Nations specialized agency for public health adds that there’s still no definite evidence to prove the vaccine is what’s causing the blood clots.

“There is no link for the moment between the vaccine and thrombotic events with thrombocytopenia,” said WHO’s director for regulation and pre-qualification, Rogerio Pinto de Sa Gaspar, in a press conference.

“The appraisal we have for the moment – and this is under consideration by the experts – is that the benefit-risk assessment for the vaccine is still largely positive. For the time being, there is no evidence that the benefit-risk assessment for the vaccine needs to be changed,” he added.

In the Philippines, the rollout of the vaccine continues. 

In a joint official statement released on March 12, the Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) echoed WHO’s statements, noting the risk-benefit analysis of AstraZeneca is still positive.

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