Friday, 16 April, 2021

Regulator reports 30 cases of rare blood clot events after jab

People wait to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca  Oxford vaccine at the SSE Arena which has been converted into a temporary COVID-19 vaccination center in Belfast Northern Ireland The Netherlands suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine for under-60s
Sandy Nunez | 03 April, 2021, 17:25

Up to 24 March, 22 reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and eight of other thrombosis events with low platelets were logged.

The British Medicines Regulatory Authority announced Friday that it has registered 30 rare cases of blood clotting in Britain among more than 18 million people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The Netherlands was the lastest European countries to stop using the AstraZeneca vaccine to vaccinate people under the age of 60, amid fears of a link between it and the incidence of rare blood clots.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is the bloc-wide EU regulator, also says the vaccine is safe, but it is planning further consultations. It did not disclose any information about their ages or health conditions.

The MHRA said there were no reports of blood clots from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine it said, adding that "our thorough review into these reports is ongoing".

"The risk of having this specific type of blood clot is very small", the agency noted.

David Werring, a professor at University College London's Institute of Neurology, said that the unusual presentation of the cases in vaccinated people was creating concern about possible links with the shot.

Adam Finn, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Bristol, said the "extreme rarity" of the blood-clotting events in the context of the millions of jabs administered in the United Kingdom makes the decision facing people very straightforward.

USA says vaccinated people can travel, with precautions
The CDC still discourages "non-essential domestic travel" by those who aren't fully vaccinated. "Cases are going up again". The message came the same week that Walensky warned of "impending doom" due to rising case numbers and hospitalizations.

This view is echoed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which has urged countries to continue using the jab.

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.

Dr Fauci provided a dubious answer when asked whether the US Department of Health will use the 300 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine the US bought previous year.

The Netherlands stopped vaccinations with AstraZeneca for people under the age of 60 after five new cases of thrombosis among women.

Germany had taken a similar decision earlier this week.

It said there were no reports of any blood-clotting events around the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which has also been widely rolled out in the UK.

More than 31 million people have received a first coronavirus vaccination dose in Britain, which is using both the AstraZeneca vaccine and the BioNTech-Pfizer version.

Overall, about one in every million people have this clot every year anyway, the GP explained.