health

Oxford AstraZeneca ban: UK drug lead responds as EU countries decide to suspend jab


The decision to temporarily pause the rollout of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in Denmark due to reports of blood clots has sparked widespread panic. However, as of yet, there is no proven link between the two. In response to the news, Dr Phil Bryan, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MRHA), Vaccines Safety Lead said: “Vaccine safety is of paramount importance and we continually monitor the safety of vaccines to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks.

Dr Bryan added: “The safety of the public will always come first. We are keeping this issue under close review but available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause.

“People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.”

The MHRA encourages anyone to report any suspicion or concern they have beyond the known, mild side effects on the Coronavirus Yellow Card site.

Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for JCVI, said:

“The JCVI’s advice on COVID-19 vaccine prioritisation was developed with the aim of preventing as many deaths as possible. As the single greatest risk of death from COVID-19 is older age, prioritisation is primarily based on age.

“It is estimated that vaccinating everyone in the priority groups would prevent around 99% of deaths from COVID-19.”

Despite pausing the rollout, Denmark’s National Board of Health has also reassured the general public.

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“There is good evidence that the vaccine is both safe and effective,” said Søren Brostrøm, director of Denmark’s National Board of Health.

But he added: “We and the Danish Medicines Agency have to react to reports of possible serious side effects.”

Denmark’s health authorities added: “At present, it cannot be concluded whether there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots.”

The European country is not alone in taking reactionary measures to the reports.

When will I be contacted about the vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

People in the groups below can get the vaccine now. The vaccine will be offered more widely as soon as possible.

If you are not eligible yet, wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.





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