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Dhaka Tribune

Covid-19: Health Minister orders probe on AstraZeneca vaccine side effects

  • 'AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine is being criticized in different countries'
  • AstraZeneca can no longer be used in European Union
Update : 08 May 2024, 03:23 PM

Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Samanta Lal Sen has instructed the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) to find out whether AstraZeneca vaccine recipients in Bangladesh have experienced any side effects.

The minister gave the order on the backdrop of reports saying AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine has allegedly caused many deaths around the world after suffering serious side effects.

The minister gave this instruction at a meeting organized to strengthen the “Immunization Program for Ensuring Universal Health Services” at Cirdap Auditorium in the capital on Wednesday afternoon.

Since no harmful symptoms have been reported in the country so far, the AstraZeneca vaccination program will continue in Bangladesh, the health minister said.

He said: “Until I know the extent of the side effects in our country, I cannot say anything about this. But we are concerned about it.

“AstraZeneca is saying they are withdrawing the vaccine, but until we get the evidence, we cannot take any steps,” he added.

Recently, the AstraZeneca vaccine has been withdrawn worldwide due to side effects. Several deaths from side effects have also been reported in some countries.

The health minister said: "We have not received any reports of such side effects in our country so far. I have already instructed health DG after knowing this and they are surveying it on those who have taken this vaccine.”

Notably, the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is being withdrawn worldwide, months after the pharmaceutical giant admitted for the first time in court documents that it can cause a rare and dangerous side effect.

The vaccine can no longer be used in the European Union after the company voluntarily withdrew its marketing authorization.

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