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AstraZeneca vaccine: MHRA issues list of clotting symptoms to look out for

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Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Dr June Raine listed off the key symptoms that the public should look out for if they think they are suffering from blood clots. She revealed that 90 people have died from fatal blood clots in the UK since the vaccine rollout as regulators now look to provide Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for the younger UK population. Dr Raine then explained the symptoms that have been associated with AstraZeneca blood clots. 

Dr Raine said during the MHRA press conference: “From these reports, the risk of this type of rare blood clot is about four people in the million who received the vaccine.

“The balance of benefits and risks is very favourable for older people but it is more finely balanced for the younger people.

“And we at the MHRA are revising this evolving evidence should be taken into account when considering how the vaccine is used.

“Today we will be communicating information and advice to healthcare professionals on how to minimise risks and this will provide a lot of guidance including how to report any suspected cases.

“The information for healthcare professionals will be updated and there will also be information for the public – things to look out for as we continue to monitor this issue.

“Anyone who has symptoms four days after vaccination or more should seek prompt medical advice.

“A new onset of a severe or persistent headache or blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, or indeed unusual skin bruising or pinpoint sports beyond the injection site.

“But I’d like to reiterate again, that this is extremely rare.

“And with the proven effectiveness against the disease that is still a huge risk to our population, the balance of benefits and known risks of the vaccine is still very favourable for the vast majority of people.”

The use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been reviewed over fears the doses cause blood clots for some people. 

Out of over 18 million people vaccinated as of March 24, 30 developed blood clots with seven people dying. 

Deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam was joined by Dr June Raine, who is the chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) chairman Professor Wei Shen.

The Government is still confident however that they will vaccinate all adults by June and will look at new vaccines – including the Moderna jab – to fill any black holes. 

The MHRA announced it would seek to recommend those under-30 to receive different vaccines like the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. 

In Europe, the European Medicines Agency is re-reviewing its AstraZeneca findings after initially saying it was “safe and effective” to use. 

While they still stress the vaccine is ok to use the regulators are investigating whether the vaccine should be used on younger people. 

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