AstraZeneca: Who is using the jab and who is not

Paris, France: The AstraZeneca vaccine has had a rollercoaster ride. While staunchly supported by Britain, which developed it, South Africa has rejected it outright while some other countries have suspended their rollouts.

Nevertheless, the vaccine is still the most widely used in the world and remains cheaper and easier to store than its competitors.

It has already been given in some 100 countries, according to an AFP database from official sources.

Here is an overview of where it is and isn't being used:

Ditched

South Africa suspended its vaccine rollout -- meant to begin with AstraZeneca shots in February -- after a study found the jab failed to prevent mild and moderate illness caused by a variant found there.

Instead, it offered its doses to the African Union.

Suspended... 

More than a dozen countries including the biggest European Union nations suspended AstraZeneca shots in mid-March because of fears over blood clots and other possible side effects.

Most, including Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia have restarted using it, however.

They acted after the EU's drugs regulator said the vaccine was "safe and effective" and not linked to a higher risk of blood clots, but could not rule out definitively a link to a rare clotting disorder.

Other countries have continued their suspensions, including Norway which has extended it until April 15 to allow more time to investigate.

Denmark announced a three-week extension of its pause on Thursday for a closer look at side effects.

Other countries have resumed with riders: Finland, Iceland, and Sweden are restarting their rollouts, although only for older people.

France has limited its use to over 55s, and Spain to under 65s.

Outside Europe countries such as Thailand and Indonesia, which had temporarily suspended injections or delayed their immunization campaigns, resumed after the World Health Organization said on March 19 that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.

100 countries

Despite criticisms oversupply difficulties and safety concerns, the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University is today being administered in around 100 countries and territories.

Britain, which has raced ahead with its use, administering it to millions, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is one of its most enthusiastic supporters among rich countries.

The jab also forms the bulk of those being given for free to poorer countries under the Covax scheme led by the WHO and the Gavi vaccine alliance.

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