Use of AstraZeneca Will Continue in Ethiopia: Ministry of Health

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Addis Ababa , March 16/2021(ENA) Ministry of Health announced that administration of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will continue in Ethiopia as health institutions, including World Health Organization, have expressed confidence in the safety of the vaccine.

Despite the halting of the use of the vaccine over fears of health side effect, particularly blood clotting by some countries, Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse said today that Ethiopia will continue inoculating AstraZeneca and other vaccines approved by international health institutions and the ministry.

She stated that the clinical and technical advisory groups of the ministry have looked into the details of AstraZeneca vaccine and assessed WHO recommendation before it decided to continue administering the vaccine.

According to her, the benefits of the AstraZeneca outweighs the stated risk of side effects by some countries.

The minister revealed that the country has started rolling out the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, mainly to health workers on Saturday, and the majority of health workers were inoculated. Ethiopia has about 270,000 health work force in duty, it was learned.

The ministry plans to inoculate 20 percent Ethiopians by December,2021.

COVID-19 positivity rate in the country has recently increased from 10 to 17 percent and it is more concerning, Dr. Lia noted.   

Ethiopia is among the less than 10 African countries that got COVID-19 vaccine through  COVAX, it was learned.