Brazil should not suspend the use of the COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca/Oxford, said the health regulator Anvisa. In a statement this Tuesday, Anvisa reiterated the efficacy and safety of the immunizer and stated that the suspect batch (ABV5300) is not used in the country.
Anvisa’s position is in line with the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the EU’s EMA medicines regulator, which also defends that countries continue using the vaccine in their immunization programs.
On Wednesday, WHO called on countries not to suspend vaccination. “At this time, WHO considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks and recommends that vaccinations continue,” said the statement.
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), which produces AstraZeneca/Oxford in Brazil, also manifested through its president, Nísia Trindade, who argued that suspending the use of the vaccine should be viewed with caution.
The suspension of AstraZeneca/Oxford in European countries began as a precautionary measure based on reports of rare blood coagulation disorders in persons who had received the vaccine in Denmark and Austria.
After these cases, countries like Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal also stopped using it, with the argument that it is a precaution to check if the vaccine is related to the reported problems.
Until now, 15 cases of deep vein thrombosis and 22 cases of pulmonary embolism have been reported in Europe, where 7 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford have been administered. For now, 21 countries have suspended AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccination.
In Latin America
Colombia will also not suspend the use of AstraZeneca/Oxford. The country authorized the emergency use of the immunizer in late February and is awaiting the arrival of the first doses, as reported by La Republica. According to the Colombian health regulator Invima, the effects of the vaccine will be analyzed during its use. Colombia purchased 10 million doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford as part of its vaccination program.
Other countries in Latin America have not yet commented on the suspension of the use of AstraZeneca/Oxford. Argentina bought 22.4 million doses but has not yet received any batches. Mexico received 12 million doses.