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Belgium to further use AstraZeneca vaccine despite fears of adverse effects

Brussels: Belgium will continue the vaccination with the AstraZeneca drug despite some countries’ decision to suspend its use over the fears of possible adverse effects, the vaccination working group said on Thursday.

A number of European states have suspended vaccination with the AstraZeneca drug as a precaution after reports on severe side-effects, including blood clots, which were allegedly triggered by the vaccine. The European Medicines Agency said there was currently no indication that the reported negative effects had been caused by the vaccination.

“Based on the current scientific data, the working group continues to support the usage of this vaccine. It is significantly reducing the risk of serious diseases and hospitalization linked to COVID-19 among adult people,” the group said on late Thursday.

Earlier on Thursday, Belgium’s Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products said that more than 94,000 people had been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca drug as of March 8, with none of them suffering from thromboembolic symptoms. The body added that 2 percent of the people vaccinated with AstraZeneca had faced adverse effects: fever, fatigue, and pain.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11, 2020. To date, more than 118.44 million people have been infected with the coronavirus worldwide, with over 2.62 million fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Belgium has confirmed more than 794,000 coronavirus cases so far, with over 22,000 fatalities.

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