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One in ten Brits feel AstraZeneca is not safe after links to blood clots

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However, 67 percent say they would have no issue with using the AZ jab. This number rose to 73 percent in the 18-24 age group, despite the under 30s being offered an alternative vaccine. In addition, one in five of those who have not yet been vaccinated say they do not intend to get any jab at all, the Redfield and Wilton Strategies poll found. The government has insisted the AZ jab is safe. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it had “already saved thousands of lives”  while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer urged people to “trust in our doctors and scientists” and said he was looking forward to receiving his second AstraZeneca dose.

Documents show public health officials had identified links between the Astra Zeneca jab and blood clots a week before a public press briefing last Wednesday when the deputy chief medical officer, Jonathan Van-Tam, announced under 30’s in the UK would be offered alternative vaccines due to the concern.

On April 1 Britain’s expert blood group – the Expert Haematology Panel – published comprehensive new guidance on how to treat potentially fatal “vaccine related” blood clots which it stated: “is affecting all ages and both genders.”

It stated all reported cases should be sent to Public Health England and the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Authority.

It adds: “Clinicians need to be on alert for this syndrome, to understand how to make the diagnosis and to note the specifics of how to treat it.”

Last week (9 April) NHS blood and transplant also issued a letter to UK transplant leads highlighting that a “number of organs from deceased donors with probable vaccine associated blood clots have recently been transplanted” in the UK.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the benefits still outweigh the risks overall, but while it has not concluded that the AstraZeneca vaccine causes rare brain clots, it said the link is getting firmer.

The MHRA said figures suggest the risk of rare blood clot is the equivalent to four people out of every million who receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Yesterday European regulators also launched an investigation into a separate blood condition in those who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab known as capillary leak syndrome. This is caused when fluid escapes from blood vessels, causing a potentially deadly drop in blood pressure that without treatment can lead to organ failure.

The European Medicines Agency is examining five case reports and said it is not yet clear whether these were caused by the jab.

It also began reviewing possible links between blood clots and the Johnson and Johnson jab after four serious cases of rare clots were reported, with one fatal.

The vaccine is yet to be approved for use in the UK, but the Government has ordered 30 million doses.

Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of the Covid-19 clinical information network, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It wouldn’t be surprising to find the J&J, the Janssen vaccine, also causes rare blood clots because it’s based on an adenovirus technology which is not that far away from the technology being used in the AstraZeneca vaccine.”

But he added: “We still have to bear in mind just how rare these events are, and we’re doing something at a massive scale in terms of rolling out these vaccines, and there are many vaccines around.”

Asked if he is concerned public confidence in jabs could be undermined, Prof Openshaw said: “These are extraordinarily rare events and there is no medicine that is going to be completely free of side-effects.

“But this is on the scale of the risk of adverse outcome that you would expect if you were to get in the car and drive 250 miles, and many of us wouldn’t blink before taking that risk.

“So I think it really is important to recognise just how rare these events are.”

A Government spokesperson said: “The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives.

“As the MHRA – the UK’s independent regulator – and the JCVI have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.”

“More than 37 million jabs overall have already been administered, and we are on track to offer jabs to all over 50s by 15 April and all adults by the end of July.”



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