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George still backs AstraZeneca vaccine


George still backs AstraZeneca vaccine
Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George (FILE)

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As complications continue to unfold with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the latest being confirmation from the European drug regulators of linkage between the shot and rare blood clots, this country’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George is standing by the safety of the jab developed by the UK-based pharmaceutical company.

In an interview with the Weekend Nation, George contends that with serious limitations in options and with the benefits far outweighing the risk, there is no point trying to change the course which has already seen just over 63 000 people receiving their first dose of the vaccine in Barbados.

WHO approval

He also pointed out that despite the development, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has maintained its stamp of approval for the use of the vaccine, even as the UK, one of the strongest advocates of the AstraZeneca vaccine, is no longer recommending the injection for people under the age of 30.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation, but it is a situation where the benefits far outweigh the risk and clotting phenomenon are extremely rare and the vaccine is considered safe even though some countries are now using an age cut-off for younger people. We continue to be guided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) and they have not given us any indication that their original recommendation has changed at this point,” said George. (CLM)


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