The Gambia says it will continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine despite other countries halting its distribution due to safety concern. 

Health minister Dr Ahmadou Lamin Samateh said the country’s coronavirus vaccine rollout would go ahead. 

“We do hear that some countries have taken precautionary measures to suspend AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine. 

“Still as a country, we are going by international standard and guidelines as advised by the WHO and their expert committees and typically the WHO is the custodian of those guidelines. 

“The information we are getting is that the WHO is not recommending its ban or withdrawal,” Dr Samateh said.

The minister added that the benefits of taking the vaccine outweigh the risks of not having the jab. 

Italy, Germany and France have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after reports of blood clots in some recently inoculated patients. 

WHO officials are still recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine and they said the greatest threat facing countries is a lack of access to vaccines not blood clot concern. 

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