Health Canada, an agency of the Canadian government responsible for national health policy, said on Friday that it was still recommending citizens to use the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 after investigating reported blood clots in several countries.
“Health Canada confirms that the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in protecting Canadians from COVID-19 continue to outweigh the risks, and encourages Canadians to get immunized with any of the COVID-19 vaccines that are authorized in Canada,” the statement said.
The statement went on to say that Health Canada, in collaboration with international regulatory partners, particularly the European Medicines Agency (EMA), assessed the recent reports in Europe of blood clots following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Health Canada has assessed the available data on the reported events and has determined that the AstraZeneca vaccine has not been associated with an increase in the overall risk of blood clots,” the agency said.
The remark came as a growing number of countries, particularly in Europe, are paused administering the vaccine over reports of severe post-inoculation side effects, particularly the development of blood clots.
On Thursday, EMA said it had found no evidence that the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine was associated with increased risks of blood clot events.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also called on the international community to not lose confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine believing that the benefits of the drug outweigh its risks.