ANKARA

Australia will continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine, the country’s drug regulator said on Friday.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said in a statement that it “has not received any reports of blood clots following administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in Australia.”

“We advise that people in Australia should continue to get the AstraZeneca vaccine when eligible,” the agency said.

The use of the vaccine was suspended in several European countries due to reports that it causes blood clots.

Global agencies, including the World Health Organization, opposed the decision, saying the jab was safe and its benefits were greater than the risks.

Following a favorable review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Italy, France, and Spain have announced that they will resume administering AstraZeneca shots.

“The TGA continues to closely monitor the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and will work with AstraZeneca to update Product Information as required,” read the statement.

“If we detect a safety concern, we will take rapid action to address it and promptly provide information to the public.”

The Australian regulator pointed to the findings of preliminary reviews by the EMA and the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

“These reviews have found the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks, and the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots,” read the statement.

“The EMA safety committee noted there had been a very small number of cases of a rare type of blood clotting disease (disseminated intravascular coagulation) associated with low levels of blood platelets (blood cells that normally help blood to clot), with or without bleeding, as well as extremely rare cases of clots in the vessels draining blood from the brain (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, CVST).”

* Writing by Islamuddin Sajid

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