Oxford-AstraZeneca: Denmark suspends jab after blood clot fears – UK drug lead responds

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The decision to temporarily pause the rollout of the AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in Denmark due to reports of blood clots has sparked widespread panic. However, as of yet, there is no proven link between the two. In response to the news, Dr Phil Bryan, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MRHA), Vaccines Safety Lead said: “Vaccine safety is of paramount importance and we continually monitor the safety of vaccines to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks. It has not been confirmed that the report of a blood clot, in Denmark, was caused by the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

“It has not been confirmed that the report of a blood clot, in Denmark, was caused by the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

“The Danish authorities’ action to temporarily suspend use of the vaccine is precautionary whilst they investigate.

“Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. More than 11 million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK.

“Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.”

Dr Bryan added: “The safety of the public will always come first. We are keeping this issue under close review but available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause.

“People should still go and get their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.”

The MHRA encourages anyone to report any suspicion or concern they have beyond the known, mild side effects on the Coronavirus Yellow Card site.

Despite pausing the rollout, Denmark’s National Board of Health has also reassured the general public.

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“There is good evidence that the vaccine is both safe and effective,” said Søren Brostrøm, director of Denmark’s National Board of Health.

But he added: “We and the Danish Medicines Agency have to react to reports of possible serious side effects.”

Denmark’s health authorities added: “At present, it cannot be concluded whether there is a link between the vaccine and the blood clots.”

The European country is not alone in taking reactionary measures to the reports.

Norway, Austria and Italy have suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab following the reports.

Professor Anthony Harnden, from the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations, told Sky News earlier today that there is no reason to question the safety of the jab in the UK.

He said: “People shouldn’t be worried, we have given 11 million doses and our regulator reviews the safety reports as they come in.”

He also raised the point that it’s already known that COVID can cause “quite severe blood clots”.

When will I be contacted about the vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus.

People in the groups below can get the vaccine now. The vaccine will be offered more widely as soon as possible.

If you are not eligible yet, wait to be contacted. The NHS will let you know when it’s your turn to have the vaccine. It’s important not to contact the NHS for a vaccination before then.

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