AstraZeneca vaccine ‘is safe’, say UK Government ministers

However, scientists are waiting for more information from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before giving any more vaccinations.

Small Business Minister Paul Scully told Sky News: “The AstraZeneca is safe, it’s saved thousands of lives. It’s gone out to millions of people both here in the UK and across the world and it’s continuing to save lives. So my message would clearly be [if you] get invited to have your vaccine please do because that’s the way out of the pandemic, that’s the way to continue saving lives…but also restoring our economy and getting back to a semblance of normal life.”

Assessments are under way into a very rare and specific type of blood clot in the brain, known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), occurring together with low levels of platelets (thrombocytopenia) following vaccination in adults.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) are also expected to announce findings of their assessments today or tomorrow.

Mr Scully said it was right the scientists make sure the vaccine is as “safe as possible” but added: “There’s no proof as yet that there’s any causal links from the very very rare occasions that there have been talks about blood clots so it’s right that they do their work. But at the moment, everything shows that the vaccine is safe.”

Both the MHRA and WHO have said that to date the benefits of the vaccine in preventing coronavirus outweigh any risks.

The MHRA said it had identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events out of 18.1 million doses of the jab administered up to and including March 24.

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