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18 Mar, 2021 15:09

After 'rigorous scientific review', UK drugs regulator says people should still get AstraZeneca Covid jab

After 'rigorous scientific review', UK drugs regulator says people should still get AstraZeneca Covid jab

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said there is no evidence that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is linked to blood clotting and no reason why it should not still be used against Covid-19.

The agency said on Thursday that it had conducted a “rigorous scientific review” of the vaccine’s use after reports in Europe of at least two deaths and blood-clotting incidents in a small number of people who received a dose of the AstraZeneca jab. It concluded, however, that the vaccine is safe and its continued use far outweighed any risk that might be associated with it.

In a statement, the MHRA said it is still carrying out a detailed review into five UK reports of a very rare and specific type of blood clot in veins in the brain, reported in less than one in a million people vaccinated so far in the UK. The condition “can also occur naturally in the absence of vaccination,” it noted.

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“Our thorough and careful review, alongside the critical assessment of leading, independent scientists, shows that there is no evidence that blood clots in veins is occurring more than would be expected in the absence of vaccination, for either vaccine,” said the MHRA’s Chief Executive, Dr June Raine.

She added that, given the extremely rare rate of occurrence of blood-clotting among the 11 million people vaccinated with the jab so far, and that a link between those cases and the AstraZeneca jab is unproven, the benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19 with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death continue to outweigh the risks of potential side effects.

“You should therefore continue to get your jab when it is your turn,” Raine said.

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