By Matthew Roscoe • 18 March 2021 • 9:46
Taiwan Clears AstraZeneca Vaccines Despite Concerns in Europe.
DESPITE some countries in Europe halting the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Taiwan, who said they may start delivering shots next week, are following recommendations from the World Health Organisation and going ahead with its rollout. According to Health Minister Chen Shih-chung, the first shots could be administered from Monday, March 22.
The government in Taiwan has said that due to the country having a low case rate of the virus, a late start to the vaccination programme isn’t a concern compared to European countries who are struggling with high numbers.
According to the Health Minister, 117,000 doses of the AstraZeneca shot arrived on the island earlier this month. The Oxford University vaccine is Taiwan’s first.
In a video statement late on Wednesday, Chen said the doses, which came from a South Korean factory, had now cleared the last of the checks by Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration.
In related news, a World Health Organisation (WHO) vaccine safety panel said on Wednesday, March 17, that it considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue.
The WHO listed AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine for emergency use last month, widening access to the relatively inexpensive shot in the developing world.
More than a dozen European countries have suspended use of the vaccine this week amid concerns.
The WHO said its Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is carefully assessing the latest available safety data for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Once that review is completed, WHO will immediately communicate the findings to the public,” WHO said in its statement a day after its experts held a closed-door meeting.
“At this time, WHO considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue,” it added.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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