WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE

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12-Mar-2021 00:04:48
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “WHO is aware that some countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines, based on reports of blood clots in some people who received doses of the vaccine from two batches. This measure was taken as a precaution while a full investigation is finalized.” WHO

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STORY: WHO / COVID-19 UPDATE
TRT: 04:48
SOURCE: WHO
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 12 MARCH 2021, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

SHOTLIST:

1.Wide shot, press briefing room
2.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“WHO is aware that some countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines, based on reports of blood clots in some people who received doses of the vaccine from two batches. This measure was taken as a precaution while a full investigation is finalized. It is important to note that the European Medicines Agency has said there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and blood clots, and that the vaccine can continue to be used while its investigation is ongoing."
3.Wide shot, press briefing room
4.SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Today, WHO gave emergency use listing to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, making it the fourth vaccine to receive WHO’s approval. Emergency use listing is the green light for a vaccine to be procured and rolled out by COVAX. "
5. Wide shot, press briefing room
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General:
“Manufacturing any vaccine requires a lot of supplies, including glass vials and plastic filters, and the raw materials needed to make them. The sudden increase in demand for vaccine production has led to a shortage of these and other supplies, which is limiting the production of vaccines for COVID-19 and could put the supply of routine childhood vaccines at risk. Some countries have imposed legal restrictions on the export of critical supplies. This is putting lives at risk around the world. We call on all countries not to stockpile supplies that are needed urgently to ramp up production of vaccines.”
7.Wide shot, press briefing room
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mariângela Simão, Assistant Director-General, WHO Access to Medicines and Health Products:
“WHO does rely on EMA information, but WHO also has a Global Advisory Committee on vaccine safety and this Advisory Committee is already assessing the data that has been provided by the European medicines agencies and by the countries as we speak. And so WHO is very much aligned with the position that we should continue immunization until we have clarified the causal relationship."
9. Wide shot, press briefing room
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist:
“Covid has killed over 2.6 million people so far globally, just the known and documented deaths. We believe that there must be more than that. And of the 330 million vaccines doses that have been deployed, we are not aware of any one confirmed Covid vaccine related death. There have been deaths following vaccination in people, but people die of diseases every day. So there hasn't been a single confirmed and most of the vaccinations to date have been done in countries with very good safety monitoring and pharmacovigilance systems, the high income countries. So there is very good reporting and each of these reports is being amplified in the press. So I think it's very important to reassure people.”
11. Wide shot, press briefing room
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr Mike Ryan EXD, WHO Health Emergencies Programme:
“The vast majority of people who survived Ebola cleared the virus from their system and they recover within six months. An even tinier proportion of people end up potentially carrying the virus. They're not infectious to other people except in very particular circumstances, and a tiny proportion of them can relapse in their infection and become sick again. And even in those, the percentage of those people who have the haemorrhagic symptoms is less. So, it is very important that we follow up survivors to support them. But it's extremely important at this moment because these are scientific results. But ultimately, there are people at the heart of this and there are thousands of people who have survived Ebola in West Africa and lives, their lives have been put back together. They have suffered hugely and so have their communities. So, it is extremely important as we look at the scientific data, that we do not allow any form of stigmatization around this subject. "
13. Wide shot, press briefing room

STORYLINE:

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “WHO is aware that some countries have suspended the use of AstraZeneca vaccines, based on reports of blood clots in some people who received doses of the vaccine from two batches. This measure was taken as a precaution while a full investigation is finalized.”

Speaking to reporters in Geneva today (12 Mar), Tedros said, “it is important to note that the European Medicines Agency has said there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and blood clots, and that the vaccine can continue to be used while its investigation is ongoing.".

The WHO chief also said, “Today, WHO gave emergency use listing to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, making it the fourth vaccine to receive WHO’s approval. Emergency use listing is the green light for a vaccine to be procured and rolled out by COVAX. "

Tedros also told reporters, “Manufacturing any vaccine requires a lot of supplies, including glass vials and plastic filters, and the raw materials needed to make them. The sudden increase in demand for vaccine production has led to a shortage of these and other supplies, which is limiting the production of vaccines for COVID-19 and could put the supply of routine childhood vaccines at risk.”

He continued, “some countries have imposed legal restrictions on the export of critical supplies. This is putting lives at risk around the world. We call on all countries not to stockpile supplies that are needed urgently to ramp up production of vaccines.”

WHO’s Dr Mariângela Simão said, “WHO does rely on EMA information, but WHO also has a Global Advisory Committee on vaccine safety and this Advisory Committee is already assessing the data that has been provided by the European medicines agencies and by the countries as we speak. And so WHO is very much aligned with the position that we should continue immunization until we have clarified the causal relationship."

Also speaking to reporters was WHO’s chief scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan. She said, “Covid has killed over 2.6 million people so far globally, just the known and documented deaths. We believe that there must be more than that. And of the 330 million vaccines doses that have been deployed, we are not aware of any one confirmed Covid vaccine related death.”

She continued, “There have been deaths following vaccination in people, but people die of diseases every day. So there hasn't been a single confirmed and most of the vaccinations to date have been done in countries with very good safety monitoring and pharmacovigilance systems, the high income countries. So there is very good reporting and each of these reports is being amplified in the press. So I think it's very important to reassure people.”

On Ebola, WHO’s Dr Mike Ryan said, “The vast majority of people who survived Ebola cleared the virus from their system and they recover within six months. An even tinier proportion of people end up potentially carrying the virus. They're not infectious to other people except in very particular circumstances, and a tiny proportion of them can relapse in their infection and become sick again. And even in those, the percentage of those people who have the haemorrhagic symptoms is less.”

Dr Ryan continued, “So, it is very important that we follow up survivors to support them. But it's extremely important at this moment because these are scientific results. But ultimately, there are people at the heart of this and there are thousands of people who have survived Ebola in West Africa and lives, their lives have been put back together. They have suffered hugely and so have their communities. So, it is extremely important as we look at the scientific data, that we do not allow any form of stigmatization around this subject. "
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