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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Health Minister says Gambia will not suspend AstraZeneca vaccine

By Aisha Tamba

The Minister of Health, Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh yesterday told journalists that The Gambia will continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine despite questions over its safety.

More than a dozen countries, mostly in Europe, have suspended the use of the vaccine over fears it is connected to side effects such as blood clots.

“We do hear that some countries have taken precautionary measures to suspend AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. Still as a country, we are going by international standard and guidelines as advised by the WHO and their expert committees and typically the WHO is the custodian of those guidelines. The information we are getting is that the WHO is not recommending its ban or withdrawal,” the minister said.

He assured the public that analysis has confirmed that there are more benefits in the vaccine than risks as he received medical supplies for COVID-19 response worth over USD154, 858, 41 donated by the WHO.

The WHO country representative, Dr Desta A Tiruneh urged everyone eligible to take the Covid-19 vaccine, as an additional protective measure.

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