Dr Adham: AstraZeneca vaccine safe

by LYDIA NATHAN / pic by AFP

THE AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been deemed safe despite some countries currently suspending it after damaging reports on its standards recently.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said representatives from AstraZeneca plc in Malaysia met with the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency on March 17, 2021, to clarify certain issues including some side effects in relation to thromboembolic events.

“According to company data as of March 17, 2021, 17 million people received the vaccine within the European Union and the UK.

“Of this number, there were 15 reported cases of deep vein thrombosis and 22 cases of pulmonary embolism. After reviewing all the cases, it was concluded that there was no evidence to suggest the vaccine had been the cause of it,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Dr Adham added that the number of thromboembolic cases was also much lower compared to the average number of expected cases considering the population size, adding that the conclusion has also been supported by the European Medicines Agency.

Meanwhile, Dr Adham said up to Nov 4, 2020, data showed that 12,000 volunteers who were given the injection in the vaccine’s clinical trial did not exhibit any adverse side effects.

“The volunteers experienced tiredness, headaches and aches at the point of injection, while all were mild to moderate. Data also showed that side effects lessened by the second dose compared to when first administered.

“The trial also maintained that there were no safety issues in regard to blood profile and content, including blood clots. The ministry will continue to ensure the vaccines available are safe and of good quality,” he said.

Additionally, the World Health Organisation urged countries to continue using the vaccine and has released its own review on the safety of the vaccine.

Yesterday, Malaysia recorded 1,268 new Covid-19 cases, 1,083 recoveries and two deaths. Four new clusters were identified where two involved workplaces.

Read our previous report here

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