Speaking to Scotland’s The Nine programme Dr Elly Gaunt, a professor in RNA viruses at the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh, warned of the dangerous impact the European Union’s decision to suspend use of the AstraZeneca vaccine will have on its takeup and argued there was no evidence for their decision. She said: “There is absolutely no evidence that this vaccine is causing any clotting syndromes”.
She added: “We know that AstraZeneca have analysed data from 17 million people that have been vaccinated and there is absolutely no evidence it is causing any clotting syndromes.
“The real concern we have is that this will reduce vaccine uptake in other countries, our countries included.”
She went on to raise concerns about the impact the European Union’s move will have on people’s trust of the vaccine but insisted that the vaccine is safe.
Dr Gaunt added: “We really need to avoid that kind of scepticism and really reiterate to people that this vaccine is very safe.”
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There are growing concerns amongst health experts that lives will be tragically lost by the European Union’s decision to suspend the AstraZeneca vaccine and set a dangerous precedent.
Dr Gaunt stressed that data shows that every day you delay 100,000 doses “you will cost an additional 15 lives.”
She went on to say: “So certainly that is sadly a possibility and sadly probably reality.
“We need to get these vaccines rolled out as fast so that we can get this virus completely under control and prevent the subsequent life lost that is inevitable the longer the virus is circulating.”
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The committee will hold an extraordinary meeting on Thursday to consider any further action that may be needed.
Data up to March 14 shows of the 26,063,501 jabs of all types given in the UK so far, 24,453,221 were first doses, a rise of 257,010 on the previous day.
Around 1,610,280 were second doses, an increase of 25,371 on the previous day.
UK leaders and medical experts have defended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.