Oxford AstraZeneca Update

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I am worried that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine isn’t safe as I’ve heard it might cause blood clots – should I still have it?

Rigorous reviews have been carried out to check the safety data on both vaccines and have confirmed that neither vaccine increases the risk of someone developing blood clots.

These were carried out by the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency following reports of blood clots in a small number of people who had recently had the vaccine. However, both agencies, along with the World Health Organisation, had stressed from the outset that there was no evidence to suggest the blood clots have been caused by the vaccine and that it was safe to continue using it while the reviews were carried out. 

Their findings reflected those of AstraZeneca’s own review of data from more than 17 million people vaccinated in the UK and European Union. This showed that there had been 37 reports of blood clots, which is fewer than would be expected to occur naturally in this number of people. The MHRA review also looked at data for the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine and confirmed there was no link to either vaccine causing blood clots.

As of 18 March, over 21 million people in England have now been vaccinated, with the latest research showing that the vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious illness and death from Covid-19. 

The vaccines are the only protection available against the serious illness caused by Covid-19, which has sadly led to the death of millions of people around the world. People will continue to be at risk from the disease if they do not take up the offer of a vaccine so it is very important to have yours when you are invited.