| 27 February 2024, Tuesday |

RHUH director says COVID-19 vaccine is “the least risky option”

“At the heart of the debate about AstraZeneca vaccine lies a fundamental question in medicine: Which one is less harmful? Is it the disease or its suggested treatment?” the Director of Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH), Dr. Firas Abiad, asked on Twitter.

In epidemics, there must be a comparison between the consequences of the spread of infection and the side effects of a vaccine, Abiad said on Tuesday, noting that “on a large community scale, the consequences of COVID-19 are much worse than the rarely reported side effects of AstraZeneca vaccine.”

He added that “it was seen in the United Kingdom; after millions of doses were distributed, the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths decreased significantly.”

“It is important to know whether AstraZeneca vaccine might cause blood clots, even in rare cases, because of another fundamental issue at the heart of the medical profession, which consists in the patient’s right to get complete information not only about his illness, but also about the suggested treatment.”

“Afterwards, the patient may choose between the vaccine and its rare side effects, or the risk of contracting the infection and its potential consequences. Everyone is eagerly awaiting the results of European investigations, but for those who live in countries with high coronavirus cases, the vaccine is definitely the least risky option,” he concluded.