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Poland’s Health Ministry says AstraZeneca vaccine is safe

Leszek Szymański/PAP

The Polish health ministry has reaffirmed its faith in the AstraZeneca vaccine, with a spokesman saying it is safe and no-one in Poland has died from taking it.

Some European countries have restricted or suspended the use of the vaccine following reports that it could cause blood clots.

But Wojciech Andrusiewicz said at a press conference on Thursday that Poland will continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“As of today, Poland and the Health Ministry also confirm that the AstraZeneca vaccine is very effective and safe,” he said. “In Poland we don’t have any confirmed deaths after inoculation with AstraZeneca.

“Neither do we have a confirmed death directly related to any vaccine,” Andrusiewicz added.

He went on to say that deaths following vaccinations are being reported, but analysis shows that currently they do not have a direct relation to the vaccination.

The 6.7 million vaccinations carried out in Poland have so far resulted in only 5,700 post-vaccine reactions, Andrusiewicz said.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Wednesday said that despite very rarely reported side effects, the overall benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing the coronavirus outweigh the risks.

The side effects mentioned by EMA concern possible links to very rare cases of unusual blood clots associated with low blood platelets.

Health Minister Adam Niedzielski held a meeting with his EU peers earlier on Thursday to discuss the EMA statement.

According to government data, 4.9 million Poles have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, while 2.09 million have been given both doses.

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