Portugal to resume use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

A medical worker prepares a dose of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Antwerp, Belgium March 18, 2021. REUTERS/Yves Herman

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal will lift a temporary suspension on the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, the country’s health authority announced on Thursday, following a statement by the EU’s drug watchdog that the shot’s benefits outweighed its risks.

The southern European nation was one of several countries that suspended the use of the vaccine earlier this week after reports of blood disorders among those who had taken the vaccine.

Portugal, which hopes to vaccinate 70% of its 10 million population by the end of summer, has already given the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 173,000 people, including Prime Minister Antonio Costa.

Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Victoria Waldersee