Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health says AstraZeneca vaccine is safe

The World Health Organisation and European Union also said concerns the vaccine may cause blood clots are unfounded

Saudis are greeted by a health worker as they enter a new coronavirus vaccination center at the Jiddah old airport, Saudi Arabia, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. The Saudi Ministry of Health has called on citizens and residents to take the vaccine for free. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
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AstraZeneca received more good news on Saturday, as Saudi Arabia became the latest country to say that there had been no reported blood clots or other significant side effects among those who had received its Covid-19 vaccine.
Controversy arose last week when it emerged that a man in Italy had died of deep vein thrombosis following being vaccinated with AstraZeneca's shot, named AZD1222 by the company.
Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Thailand later suspended use of the vaccine, but the EU's European Medicine Agency stated yesterday that the benefits of the vaccine far outweighed the risks. The EMA noted that there had been 30 "thromboembolic events" among five million people who were injected with AstraZeneca's vaccine.

The World Health Organisation later expressed confidence that the vaccine was safe.
"We have not detected any side effects from the licensed vaccines in the kingdom, other than the simple side effects, which were previously observed in clinical trials," read a statement from the Saudi Arabian Public Health Authority. The Ministry of Health also confirmed this finding.
"We assure you that some of these countries have returned to using it after it was proven safe. We confirm that the vaccines in the kingdom are safe and effective," Ministry of Health spokesman Mohammed Al Abd Al Ali said in a tweet.

Watch: Britain's foreign secretary defends AstraZeneca shot after blood clot fears

UK's foreign secretary defends AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clot fears

UK's foreign secretary defends AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clot fears