The warning was made by Professor Jeremy Brown, who sits on the UK’s vaccination committee, during an appearance on ITV. A number of European countries including France, Germany and Italy have suspended using the Oxford vaccine whilst authorities investigate a tiny number of blood clots.
The World Health Organisation has said there is no proven link between the Oxford jab and blood clots and urged vaccinations to continue.
This position was supported by the European Medicines Agency.
However several European nations ignored the advice, implementing a temporary ban, despite suffering from a renewed wave of COVID-19.
Professor Brown commented: “It is confusing to understand why so many countries have decided to stop using the vaccine.
“Many of those countries are going through a third wave, and by stopping using the vaccine they’re actually literally causing more problems.”
On Wednesday the EU threatened to block vaccine exports to Britain unless the UK increases jab supplies to the continent.
Commission president Ursula von der Leyen warned the bloc will “reflect whether exports to countries who have higher vaccination rates than us are still proportionate”.
Professor Brown warned the ban from some European countries could also affect the UK by reducing confidence in the Oxford vaccine.
READ MORE: Brittany variant – France identifies new hard-to-detect Covid mutation
Professor Brown claimed the blood clots being investigated are “very, very rare events which may be occurring in three or four people per million” and likely will not “turn out to linked the vaccine anyway”.
He added: “And yet, on the other side, that is against the fact that if you vaccinate a million people with the AstraZeneca vaccine, you’re going to save 1,000 lives.
“They have taken the precautionary principle about doing no harm and they have used it in the wrong way – by looking at not using the vaccine, whereas in fact you should continue using the vaccine unless there’s incredibly good reasons not to.”
Data from England and Scotland shows the Oxford vaccine is highly effective in preventing death or hospitalisation from coronavirus.
Not all EU member states have stopped using the Oxford jab with some, like Belgium and Poland, adopting the UK approach and continuing.
France and Italy have said they hope to continue using the vaccine after investigations into the blood clots later this week.
In a letter to local health groups the NHS warned of a “significant reduction in the weekly supply” of coronavirus vaccines.
It said this was the result of a “reduction in national inbound vaccines supply”.
Those vaccinations that have already been booked should go ahead.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the letter was “standard” and “ups and downs” in supply are to be expected.