WHO: Countries may still use AstraZeneca vaccine

GENEVA — The chief scientist of the World Health Organization is recommending that countries continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine for now despite concerns about blood clots in some people who have received it.

A growing number of countries temporarily suspend the use of the vaccine.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan says officials at the WHO “don’t want people to panic” even as close monitoring of the vaccine’s use continues.

She said a review is under way that could produce updated recommendations as early as Tuesday.

Swaminathan noted that some 300 million doses of a variety of coronavirus vaccines have been given to people around the world, and “there is no documented death that has been linked to a COVID vaccine.”

She said the rates at which blood clots have occurred in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine “are in fact less than what you would expect in the general population.”