AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Not Linked To Blood Clot Risk:
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Europe's medical regulator said the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective and not associated with a higher blood clot risk, after more than a dozen countries paused rollouts over health fears. The closely-watched announcement comes after the WHO and Britain's health watchdog both said the vaccine was safe, adding that it was far riskier to not get the shot as several countries face a worrying rise in coronavirus cases.

The committee also concluded that the vaccine is not associated with an increase in the overall risk of thromboembolic events or blood clots. The UK health regulator also said there were no links between blood clots and the AstraZeneca shot, or the Pfizer vaccine. And the World Health Organization (WHO) said it was better to take the AstraZeneca vaccine than not, after saying it was looking into available data on the shot.

AstraZeneca's shot, among the cheapest available and easier to store and transport than some of its rivals, has been billed as the vaccine of choice for poorer nations. It is currently a vital part of COVAX, which was set up to procure COVID-19 vaccines and ensure their equitable distribution around the world.

The head of WHO Africa said she hoped the controversy surrounding the British-Swedish jab would not deter people from getting the vaccine on the continent, where more than 16 million vaccine doses, mostly AstraZeneca, have been distributed under COVAX. And in Britain, which has not halted the vaccine, officials insisted that an expected vaccine shortfall at the end of the month would not scupper plans to lift virus restrictions as the government has promised.

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