British regulators say they have identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine but stressed the benefits of the jab in preventing coronavirus outweigh any risks.
The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said on Thursday that the risk associated with this type of blood clot is “very small” and that the public should continue to take up the vaccine when offered it.
The agency says it has identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events following use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, out of 18.1 million doses administered up to and including 24 March.
Responding to the data, a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said that taking up the vaccine was “by far the safest choice” at minimising risk of serious illness or death.
Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol, says: “The extreme rarity of these events in the context of the many millions of vaccine doses that have been administered means that the risk-benefit decision facing people who are invited to receive Covid-19 vaccines is very straightforward: receiving the vaccine is by far the safest choice in terms of minimising individual risk of serious illness or death.”
This view is echoed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has urged countries like Germany to continue using the jab.