Keep using AstraZeneca shot to save lives: WHO

Hans Kluge noted that Europe's medicines regulators are investigating a small number of cases of blood clots in the region that have prompted around a dozen EU governments to suspend use of the AstraZeneca shot.

"As of now, we do not know whether some or all of the conditions have been caused by the vaccine or by other coincidental factors", he said, adding: "At this point in time, however, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh its risks, and its use should continue to save lives."

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said so far, it has found no causal link between the vaccine and any clotting or blood coagulation reports.

Despite these reassurances, at least 13 EU member states, including Germany, France and Italy, have suspended use of the shot pending the outcome of a fuller EMA investigation expected to be completed on Thursday (March 18).