Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

UK: Causal link between Oxford vaccine, blood clots

Vaccination program must continue despite causality, government and specialists say

Muhammad Mussa   | 07.04.2021
UK: Causal link between Oxford vaccine, blood clots

LONDON

UK drug specialists believe there may be a "causal" link between the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine and the rare blood clotting incidences that have occurred since its rollout.

Oxford University, which helped create the jab, has also paused clinical trials of the vaccine on more than 200 children, including young people aged 6 to 17, as a precautionary measure while they await the results of an investigation launched by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

“While there are no safety concerns in the paediatric clinical trial, we await additional information from the MHRA on its review of rare cases of thrombosis/thrombocytopenia that have been reported in adults, before giving any further vaccinations in the trial.” the university said in a statement as quoted by the BBC News.

Despite the growing concern on the links between the Oxford vaccine and the blood clots, the latter events are incredibly rare. By the end of March, 30 instances of blood clotting had occurred in the UK which resulted in the deaths of seven people. Specialists also argue that all vaccines and drugs have side effects and that the benefits greatly outweigh the risks in this matter.

The government has also called for calm and composure, reassuring the public there is no need for worry and that people should still go out and receive a jab if they are able to.

“The best thing people should do is look at what the MHRA say, our independent regulator – that’s why we have them, that’s why they are independent. Their advice to people is to keep going out there, get your jab, get your second jab,” UK premier Boris Johnson said in a statement.


Moderna vaccine rolls out

On Wednesday, a third coronavirus vaccine will be rolled out across the UK with people in Wales becoming the first to receive the jab.

The Moderna vaccine was approved by the MHRA in January this year with 17 million doses ordered. Wales is the first UK nation to receive the jab with 5,000 doses being sent to vaccination centers. It is unknown when the rest of the UK will begin administering the Moderna jab.

"We were expecting a reduction in the supply of the Oxford vaccine throughout April and this will help us make back that shortfall to ensure we remain on track to get everybody vaccinated,” said Darren Hughs of the Welsh NHS Confederation to the BBC Radio Wales.

Some 1.49 million people in Wales have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, approximately 47.4% of its population, while 469,000 people have received their second.

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