Ethiopia rolls out AstraZeneca jab, says no evidence of harm

Tuesday March 16 2021
Covid-19 vaccine.

A man receives a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine. PHOTO | AFP


Ethiopia on Monday announced that it will not ban the use of AstraZeneca vaccine despite concern in some European countries over blood clotting after receiving the shot.

Some eight European countries last week suspended the use of the Covid-19 vaccine over fear of blood clot side effects.

Ireland, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria, Iceland, Italy and Norway are among the countries that have suspended the use of the vaccine.

Ethiopia began administering the AstraZeneca vaccine on Sunday and said it would continue rolling out the vaccine to its citizens, as there was no evidence it was unsafe for use.

The Ethiopian Ministry of Health echoed the World Health Organization’s statement that there is no evidence linking the vaccine to blood clotting.

"Therefore, Ethiopia will continue to provide the vaccine to its citizens as long as there is no scientific evidence that the vaccine can cause blood clots," the ministry said.


The vaccine was launched at the federal level in Addis Ababa and other regions of Ethiopia on Sunday.

Ethiopia has received 2.2 million dozes of the vaccine in the first round last week from India's Serum Institute.

Ethiopia plans to vaccinate 20 percent of its over 100 million population by December 2021, according to the Ministry of Health.

In a statement on its website, AstraZeneca says it reviewed data, which showed no evidence of increased risk to blood or heart problems.

“A careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated in the European Union (EU) and UK with Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca has shown no evidence of an increased risk of pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or thrombocytopeniain any defined age group, gender, batch or in any particular country,” it said.