Health

COVID-19 vaccine update: AstraZeneca vaccinations should continue, benefits outweigh risks, says WHO

Strategic advisory group of experts on immunization called the one-dose Janssen shot as a safe and lifesaving addition to Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 18 March 2021
The EU threatened to halt exports of COVID-19 vaccines to Britain and secure doses for its own citizens. Photo: Vikas Choudhary

The World Health Organization March 17 said the benefits of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommended that its vaccinations continue. Several European Union countries have temporarily suspended use of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine as a precautionary measure based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in persons who had received the vaccine.

  • The WHO, in a press release, observed that it was routine for countries to signal potential adverse events following immunisation in extensive vaccination campaigns. This does not necessarily mean that the events are linked to vaccination itself.
  • The EU threatened to halt exports of COVID-19 vaccines to the United Kingdom and secure doses for its own citizens unless the UK starts shipping shots to the bloc, the European commission president said March 17.
  • In a virtual press conference from Geneva, the strategic advisory group of experts on immunization (SAGE) called the one-dose Janssen shot — produced by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary — as a safe and lifesaving addition to Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, according to a WHO release.
  • “The world is in a place where there is insufficient supply to meet the requirements of people who need to be vaccinated; clearly, any of these vaccines are lifesaving products”, said Kate O’Brien, director, department of immunisation, vaccines and biological, WHO said.
  • India as on March 18 recorded 35,871 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day rise in over 100 days, according to the data by the Union health ministry. This has taken the total infection tally to 11,474,605. At least 172 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours.
  • As many as 33,784,295 vaccine doses have been administered across the country as on early March 18, according to covid19india.org.
  • The world has recorded over 121,839,759 cases so far and as many as 2,693,023 deaths, according to worldometers.com.
  • Amid the second wave of the pandemic in the Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh may impose curbs in the state from March 18. Punjab recorded 2,039 new COVID-19 cases and 35 more deaths March 17, the highest single-day rise in the last five months.
  • Maharashtra’s daily COVID-19 count crossed 23,000-mark with 84 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, according to covid19india.org. The active cases in the state are 152,760.
  • Delhi recorded 536 new COVID-19 cases, the highest in about two-and-a-half months. At least three more people died due to the disease. The positivity rate in the national capital is at 0.66 per cent.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the country in a national address to not waste vaccines. He pointed to vaccine wastage to the tune of 10 per cent in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • “States have to examine why vaccines are being wasted. They have to immediately correct the drawbacks of planning and governance at the local level to reduce vaccine wastage,” he said.

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