Rabat – As more European countries suspend the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine due to a potential risk of blood clotting, Moroccan authorities are waiting to confirm the cause and effect before acting further.
The Moroccan Center for Poison Control and Pharmacovigilance (CAPM) confirmed that while Morocco has recorded a low number of thrombosis cases in patients who have received the vaccine, establishing a causality so far has been impossible.
As the AstraZeneca controversy sweeps across Europe, a growing number of governments have begun to react.
Sweden and Latvia announced on March 16 that they were pausing their rollout of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. This makes for a total of 13 countries in the European Union that have, at least temporarily, pulled the plug on the distribution of the vaccine.
For their part, Moroccan authorities are looking into the situation at the moment, shared the director of CAPM Rachida Soulaymani.
Speaking with the Moroccan daily Al Massae, Soulaymani explained the center is currently conducting testing to determine if there is a link between the vaccine and the incidence of Thrombosis.
While it is impossible to rule out the possibility of vaccine-induced blood clots, so far, there has been no clear evidence that links the complications to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Read also: Moroccan-American Developing a Universal COVID-19 Vaccine
The EU countries that have made the decision to suspend the vaccine have all done so based on reports of complications, without having established a definite link between cause and effect.
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety has been reviewing available data, and it met with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on March 16 to discuss the issue.
“This does not necessarily mean these events are linked to vaccination, but it’s routine practice to investigate them, and it shows that the surveillance system works and that effective controls are in place,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Tedros stressed that “the greatest threat” most countries face at the moment is the lack of access to vaccines.
Emer Cooke, the head of EMA shared a similar sentiment.
“We are still firmly convinced that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19, with its associated risks of hospitalization and death, outweigh the risks,” she said.
Soulaymani added that complications from blood clots could have a variety of causes besides vaccination, such as age or pre-existing conditions. The older the person, the higher risk of these types of complications, she added. Such a phenomenon is not specifically linked to AstraZeneca or other COVID-19 vaccines, but to vaccines in general, Soulaymani explained.