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Vice President Delcy Rodriguez made the announcement in light of concerns over potential side effects.
The Venezuelan government will not approve the use in its territory of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 due to its alleged side effects, which have caused its application to be suspended in half a dozen European countries, Vice President Delcy Rodríguez announced on Monday.
"Venezuela will not give permission for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be used in the immunization process of our population due to the situations and complications that have occurred to those who have been vaccinated," said Rodríguez. "President Nicolás Maduro has decided, taking into account the technical reports (...), not to approve and not to grant a license for the use of this vaccine in Venezuelan territory."
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that it was still conducting its safety review of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a press briefing in Geneva that its Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety is in close contact with the EMA and will meet on Tuesday.
Previously, EU member countries Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Romania, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, the Netherlands and non-EU countries Norway and Iceland have already fully or partially suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine following reports of suspected deaths from blood clots after vaccinations.