The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday said that the link between AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and blood clots is plausible but unconfirmed, adding that the reported incidents were "very rare", reported AFP.
The statement comes after European Medicines Agency said that blood clots should be listed as a "very rare" side effect of the vaccine. But the jab's benefits continue to outweigh the risks, it added.
"Based on current information, a causal relationship between the vaccine and the occurrence of blood clots with low platelets is considered plausible but is not confirmed," the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety said on Wednesday.
"Whilst concerning, the events under assessment are very rare, with low numbers reported among the almost 200 million individuals who have received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine around the world," it added.
WHO stated that potential vaccines should prevent coronavirus-induced deaths and their adverse effects need to be assessed.
Side effects within two or three days following vaccination "are expected and common", it noted.
Also read: Clots are AstraZeneca's latest curse
The group suggested that a panel of clinical experts including haematologists should be convened for advice on clinical diagnosis and case management.
"The GACVS will meet again next week to review additional data and will be issuing further recommendations as relevant," it said.
The AstraZeneca jabs produced in South Korea and India, plus the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and that of Johnson and Johnson, are the only ones to have received WHO authorisation so far in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The AstraZeneca vaccine accounts for almost all of the doses being distributed around the world in the first wave of the Covax global vaccine-sharing facility.
Covax has now delivered 36 million doses of coronavirus vaccine to 86 countries and economies, the WHO said Tuesday.
The scheme aims to ensure poorer nations get enough doses to vaccinate at least 20% of their population by the end of the year.
The novel coronavirus has killed nearly 2.9 million people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP. At least 132 million cases have been registered.