THE CHANCE of developing a deadly blood clot from the AstraZeneca Covid jab is just 0.00015 per cent, new figures reveal.
While 21.2million Brits have had the Oxford vaccine, 168 rare blood clots have been recorded – and of those, 32 people have died, UK regulators said.
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The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) published their latest findings today, noting there is a 19 per cent fatality rate in those who develop blood clots with low platelet counts, after the jab.
It comes after a review recommended under-30s be offered different shots as a “course correction” after the MHRA found a “reasonably plausible link”.
But with just over 33.1million people already having their first Covid vaccine, and 10.7million their second, the risks are very small.
Side effects can occur with all medications and vaccines and this is no different for coronavirus vaccines.
Most people will not have any side effects after their jab, but those who do have reported pain at the site of injection, flu-like symptoms and fatigue.
There are currently three vaccines being rolled out across the UK; the AstraZeneca offering, the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Moderna jabs.
It comes as:
The JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation), says the jab is “safe and effective” but that people under the age of 30 could be offered an alternative vaccine.
This, it said was a “precautionary measure” after a number of people experienced blood clots.
On April 7, when JCVI announced this measure, there were just 79 cases and 19 deaths after 20 million doses were given. At that point the risk of dying from the jab was 0.000095 per cent and it found that three of the deaths were people under 30.
The best way for you to stay alive until Christmas is if you go and have your vaccine
Professor Paul Hunter
The MHRA uses “yellow card” reporting in order to track side effects in patients who have had the jab.
Up to April 14, the MHRA said it had 168 reports of major thromboembolic events (blood clots) following the AstraZeneca jab.
The latest report detailed that these events occurred in 93 women and 75 men aged between 18-93 years old.
There were 32 deaths caused by the clots – with a fatality rate of 19 per cent and one case was reported after a second dose.
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis was also reported in 77 cases, with the average age of patients presenting with this condition being 47.
A further 91 patients had other major thromboembolic events with concurrent thrombocytopenia.
As of April 14, around 21.2 million first doses of the AstraZeneca jab have been dosed out.
The MHRA report read: “The data suggest there is a higher incidence reported in the younger adult age groups and the MHRA advises that this evolving evidence should be taken into account when considering the use of the vaccine.”
It added that the reports had also been analysed by the Government’s independent advisory body, the Covid-19 Vaccines Benefit Risk Expert Working Group, which includes lay representatives and advice from leading haematologists.
“On the basis of this ongoing review, the advice remains that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks in the majority of people”, it added.
‘GET YOUR VACCINE’
Speaking to The Sun today, Professor Paul Hunter, from the University of East Anglia, said the best option was still for you to go and get your jab.
He said: “The best way for you to stay alive until Christmas is if you go and have your vaccine.”
Prof Hunter had his first AstraZeneca dose five weeks ago and is counting down the days until he has his second.
He added: “The risk of death is very low, and this is one area of life where a tolerable risk has to be taken.”
Prof Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics, University of Bristol said there is now a “high level of awareness” of blood clots from both the public and clinicians.
He added:” Cases are being reported reliably and quickly but there are also cases that occurred previously now being recognised and reported as well. “
Prof Finn said the MHRA are using specific measures which determine the blood clots – so that they are not confused or mistaken for other conditions.
“I would expect the true number of cases per million doses of vaccine to become clear fairly soon as these reports stabilise but it is already clear that it is going to remain a very rare event.
“There remains an urgent need to understand the mechanism underlying these cases, to monitor and optimise rapid diagnosis and treatment and, if possible, to identify risk factors all of which might improve outcomes and enable cases to be prevented.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously urged Brits to come forward for their jab.
Prof Sir David Spiegelhalter, Chair, Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, University of Cambridge, previously commented: “The benefit/risk balance seems firmly in favour of the vaccine.”
While most people won’t experience side effects from their jabs, the MHRA previously said that if you have a headache for up to four days after having your jab then you should seek medical advice.
The handful of cases among millions of people who have had the jab makes the risk extremely small – smaller than the benefits of the jab, experts say.
But because blood clots can be fatal, it’s worth knowing the symptoms just in case.
The UK’s medicine regulator, the MHRA, says you should seek medical advice if you have had any of these symptoms four days or more after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine:
- a new onset of severe or persistent headache
- blurred vision
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- leg swelling
- persistent abdominal pain
- unusual skin bruising or pinpoint round spots beyond the injection site
These symptoms may have been related to the AstraZeneca vaccine if they were within 28 days of the shot.