Blood clots can be incredibly serious and need to be treated very quickly. The UK has reported five cases of rare blood clots in 11 million AstraZeneca jabs according to new data. Despite this rarity and assurances from medicine regulators in the UK and EU, many people are nervous about the risk of blood clots, with several European countries temporarily suspending the use of the vaccine. But who is more prone to blood clots?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson reassured the nation about the UK’s coronavirus vaccination programme on Thursday.
The PM said it was “reasonable” for people to want assurances about supply levels and vaccine safety in the wake of bombshell announcements this week.
Following the European Medicines Agency’s announcement that the AstraZeneca jab is “safe and effective”, Mr Johnson also endorsed the vaccine, revealing his plans to receive the jab himself on Friday.
Dr June Raine, CEO of the UK’s medicines regulator (MHRA), said the public can have “every confidence” in their review of the AstraZeneca jab.
She added no “causal” relationship has been found between the vaccine and blood clots, adding the “benefits far outweigh the risks”.
READ MORE: AstraZeneca vaccine: UK regulator issues warning about headaches
Pregnant women and estrogen users
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing blood clots because having a baby causes more hormones to enter your bloodstream.
As the baby grows, more pressure is put on your blood vessels in your abdomen and the pelvis, which can block the blood flow directly causing clots.
People on a birth control pill can be up to three or four times more likely to get a blood clot.
Birth control pills prevent pregnancy by tricking the body into thinking it is already pregnant, by increasing hormones which can subsequently increase the risk of blood clots.
People with infections or inflammatory diseases and those who sit still for long periods
Anyone suffering from serious illness or infection is at risk of abnormal clots.
Other conditions such as diabetes, HIV and Crohn’s disease make you more likely to get clots.
Inactivity can also make you more likely to develop blood clots.
Spending a lot of time in tight spaces where you cannot move can also leave you at a higher risk of blood clots, especially if you do not drink enough water.
Those who are related to people with blood clotting issues and people who have had blood clots before
Anyone who is a descendant of someone who had a blood clotting issue is likely to be at a higher risk of blood clots.
However, if injury or non-genetic illness was to blame this is not likely to be an issue.
Certain inherited disorders make your blood thicker and more likely to clot.
Anyone with a history of blood clots is also at a higher risk generally, especially because blood clots can form around the valves in a vein which can damage it.
This process can lead to multiple clots over time.