‘Countries pausing AstraZeneca jab risk lives’

Several European countries have paused their use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine over reports of blood clots in a small number of individuals who have received the jab.

But lives have been put at risk by not giving people the vaccine, the director of the vaccine centre at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has said.

While it was right to look at these events, it was surprising that the vaccinations had been suspended while there was an ongoing pandemic, Prof Beate Kampmann told BBC World News.

“We do know these vaccines save lives and that’s now really, really clear and I wonder whether the investigation could have been done without suspending the rollout,” she said.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to release the findings of its investigation into cases of blood clots in people vaccinated with Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine on Thursday.

It has previously said it was “firmly convinced” the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks and there was “no indication” the jab causes blood clots.

The World Health Organization has urged countries not to halt vaccinations.

AstraZeneca has said there is no evidence of an increased risk of clotting due to the vaccine.

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