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Africa News of Friday, 19 March 2021


Cameroon withdraws approval of AstraZeneca shots against coronavirus

The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine The AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine

Cameroonian authorities have withdrawn the approval of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccines in the central African country, citing earlier concerns by European counterparts.

The country’s Scientific Council for Public Health Emergencies made the decision in a March 12 meeting, according to a statement obtained by Bloomberg Friday. The move comes days before Cameroon was set to receive its first vaccines from the World Health Organization-backed Covax facility, which is distributing free AstraZeneca vaccines to lower-income countries.

The side effects of the vaccine are under investigation in Europe, the statement said. “Once these investigations are concluded, the Scientific Council will reexamine the need to use the vaccine,” it said.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the Cameroonian decision had been reviewed following the resumption of the vaccine’s use in Germany, France and Spain, amid other European Union countries who’d temporarily suspended the shots.

A Cameroonian health ministry spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to a call and text message seeking comment.

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