Sci-tech

Oxford vaccine: 'Reassuring that safety monitoring systems working,' says chief

Oxford vaccine: 'Reassuring that safety monitoring systems working,' says chief”

Around 60,000 people are in line to get the first vaccinations, Chen said. Another was hospitalised with pulmonary embolism (blockage in arteries in the lungs) after being vaccinated. Thailand also suspended its programme but has now restarted it.

He added the leading cause of this type of blood clot in the United Kingdom was the contraceptive pill, which can increase a woman's chance of suffering cerebral venous sinus thrombosis by eightfold.

However, on March 18 regulators ruled the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and its benefits "far outweigh any risks".

The AstraZeneca vaccine was hailed as a potential game-changer for the continent as it is cheap and can be stored and transported easily, making it effective in countries with limited health care infrastructure.

It said the cases represented a less than one-in-a-million chance of suffering this type of clot among those who have been vaccinated, while the risk of dying from Covid aged 40 to 49 is one in 1,000.

This has been reported in less than 1 in a million people vaccinated so far in the United Kingdom, and can also occur naturally - a causal association with the vaccine has not been established.

He confirmed the United Kingdom would have "fewer vaccines than we had planned" in a move that could mean the under-50s might have to wait until May to get a vaccination, despite doctors having planned to start on that group in April.

A further 91 people died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Thursday, with an additional 6,303 lab-confirmed cases.

Given the tiny numbers of people who have suffered blood clots and the vast numbers who have had the vaccine the link seems very tenuous. All the people recovered, as far as the MHRA are aware.

What have the experts said?

More news: Australia restricts travel to Papua New Guinea

The MHRA concluded that any link between the jab and clots is unproven and the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh any risks. However, the European Medicines Agency has announced it failed to find a link between the vaccine and increased risks of thrombosis.

Maria Popova clarified that this concerns very rare cases of extremely specific syndromes, which include a small number of platelets and the formation of blood clots, with or without bleeding.

Ms Cooke said: "This is a safe and effective vaccine".

Despite this Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA said while they continued to investigate the issue, anyone who suffered a headache that lasts more than four days after the vaccination, or bruising beyond the area where the jab was injected, to come forward as a precaution.

The UK remains confident that the vaccine is effective for over 65s, Munir Pirmohamed also told a MHRA news briefing.

"Since (initial approval) we've seen more data coming through from AstraZeneca as more people are completing the trial, which highlights again that efficacy in the elderly is seen, and there's no evidence of lack of efficacy", he said.

Mr Johnson said: "It is very important to stress whatever you may hear about the pressures that different countries are under to deliver vaccines for their public, these vaccines are a multinational effort, they are produced as the result of worldwide co-operation and I want to stress that we in the United Kingdom will continue to view it in that spirit".

"The data we have collected provides further reassurance that the Covid-19 vaccines are safe and continue to meet the rigorous regulatory standards required for all vaccines".

In a communique signed at the end of the meeting by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State governor, Dr.Kayode Fayemi, the Governors urged Nigerians to remain calm and report any adverse events noticed following COVID-19 vaccination.



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