World Media

UK AstraZeneca recipients die of clots; regulator: Benefits outweigh risks

Coronavirus UK identifies 30 cases of blood clots in Astra Zeneca vaccine recipients

"The benefits in preventing a COVID-19 infection and its complications continue to outweigh any risks and the public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so", June Raine, MHRA chief executive, told United Kingdom broadcaster the BBC.

On Friday, the Dutch government also said it would be temporarily halting AstraZeneca jabs for people under 60, after it received five reports of blood clots with low blood plate counts following vaccinations.

Germany has limited use of the shot to people over 60 years of age and high-priority groups, while France will give the jab to people over 55. Almost five million people have gotten their second jab. "We must err on the side of caution, so it is wise to press the pause button now as a precaution", health minister, Hugo de Jonge, said.

On Saturday, Queensland state, the epicentre of the most recent small outbreak of the coronavirus, recorded one new infection, health officials said, but risks to the public were minimal as the victim had been in isolation for days. "We must err on the side of caution".

Some 22 of the cases were cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a rare condition that causes blood clots to form in the brain.

The vaccine has been backed by the World Health Organisation and the EU's drugs regulator, which have said there was no evidence of a link to an increased risk of blood clots.

"There were no reports for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine".

Prosecutors have opened an investigation into that case while emphasising that no link had been established yet with the jab.

It believes the vaccine is safe and that experts have found no specific risk factors such as age, gender or medical history. He added that the MHRA's report equates to an average risk of less than one in 500,000.

The clotting cases have generated concern because, scientists said, they were somewhat unusual.

"More research is urgently needed", he said.

It is not clear whether the man's clots are related to the vaccine dose he received.

The UK, which has rolled out coronavirus vaccines faster than other European nations, is particularly reliant on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed by scientists at the University of Oxford.