The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that 30 cases of blood clotting had been reported among five million people who had received the jab on the continent so far. The EU has launched an investigation into the incidents, with several countries suspending their use of the Astrazeneca jab. The Prime Minister defended the vaccine, insisting that it was safe to use and would continue to be rolled out in the UK.
A Number 10 spokesperson told reporters: “We’ve been clear that it’s both safe and effective, and when people are asked to come forward and take it, they should do so in confidence.’
“And in fact you’re starting to see the results of the vaccine programme in terms of the (lower) number of cases we’re seeing across the country, the number of deaths, number of hospitalisations.”
The death of a 49-year-old Austrian nurse sparked the latest round of concerns about the Astrazeneca jab in Europe.
The woman died on Monday from a blood clot shortly after being injected with the vaccine.
Denmark, Norway and Iceland said they were temporarily suspending all Astrazeneca vaccinations, pending an inquiry.
At the same time several other EU countries including Italy and Austria have taken out of circulation one million doses that belonged to the same batch that was given to the nurse.
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“Available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause,” he said.
Astrazeneca said that their vaccine had been rigorously tested in extensive human trials and that there had been “no confirmed serious adverse events associated with the vaccine”.
The British-Swedish company was forced to halt trials of its jab for a short while in December last year, after a participant suffered a serious adverse reaction.