Cyprus announced yesterday that it was suspending the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in anticipation of a review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) but that it would continue to use vaccines developed by Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna.

Although there were publicly reported cases of side effects using the AstraZeneca vaccine in island nation’s vaccine rollout, the suspension follows reports of bleeding, the development of blood clots and low platelets counts for some people who were given the vaccine said Greek City Times.

By 10 March, there were 30 thromboembolic(blood clots) cases reported from among nearly 5 million people vaccinated within the European Economic area – 17 countries in the region and Thailand have now suspended the use of the vaccine.

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Greece is awaiting the results of an EMA review before deciding on the use of theAstraZeneca vaccine in its rollout programme.

Meanwhile the World Health Organisation has appealed to countries to not suspend COVID-19 vaccinations.

“As of today, there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and it is important that vaccination campaigns continue so that we can save lives and stem severe disease from the virus,” said WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier.