ATHENS, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The Greek authorities will continue to use AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine in the country as originally scheduled, the national news agency AMNA reported on Tuesday.
Greece's National Vaccination Committee examined the issue after reports of blood clotting in people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca shot. Numerous European countries have suspended the use of the AstraZeneca jab as a "precautionary measure."
The Greek authorities have decided to continue to use the AstraZeneca vaccine, citing the recommendations of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Greece is closely following the assessments of the EMA and the WHO, as well as reports of possible unwanted side effects of all the vaccines against COVID-19, the committee's press statement said.
Greece administers three vaccines free of charge and on a voluntary basis. To date, more than 1.2 million vaccine doses have been administered in Greece. Over 400,000 people have received both doses and more than 870,000 the first dose, according to official figures released on Monday.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 263 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 81 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on March 12.
The Greek authorities said on Tuesday that 605 patients were on ventilators in hospitals nationwide, the highest number this year. On Dec. 3, 2020, the National Public Health Organization (EODY) reported 622 people on ventilators.
Faced with the third wave of the pandemic, Greece confirmed 1,533 new coronavirus infections and 59 deaths in the past 24 hours.
The country now has a total of 223,789 infections and 7,196 deaths since the first case was detected on Feb. 26, 2020. Enditem