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What we know about blood clots, side effects and dangers 

What have the regulators stated?

A overview by EMA security committee concluded that “unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects” of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Emer Cooke, govt director of the EMA, stated: “The risk of mortality from Covid is much greater than risk of mortality from these side effects.”

The MHRA stated there have been nonetheless large advantages of the vaccine in stopping Covid-19 and critical illness however added that on account of a really small variety of blood clots in youthful individuals, these underneath the age of 40 will probably be provided Pfizer or Moderna jabs as a substitute.



Dr June Raine, MHRA chief govt, added: “Anyone who has symptoms four days after vaccination or more should seek prompt medical advice – a new onset of a severe or persistent headache or blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain or indeed unusual skin bruising or pin-point spots beyond the injection site.”

How produce other international locations reacted?

Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and Canada have restricted using the AstraZeneca vaccine in youthful individuals. Italy and Spain have stopped using the  jab in the under-60s.

Denmark introduced on Apr 14 it will cease administering Oxford/AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine completely following its hyperlink to very uncommon instances of blood clots, a call primarily based on the low ranges of Covid-19 within the nation and warning over the uncommon side-effect. 

The determination, which a minimum of for now removes the shot from Denmark’s vaccination scheme, might delay the nation’s vaccine rollout by as much as 4 weeks, primarily based on earlier statements by well being our bodies.

France has stated underneath 55s who’ve had a primary AstraZeneca dose ought to take a unique vaccine for the second. Olivier Véran, the nation’s well being minister, stated the brand new recommendation will probably be that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines ought to be used for his or her second dose.

Spain will examine the effects of blending totally different coronavirus vaccines, authorities researchers stated on Apr 19, responding to shifting tips on the security of the AstraZeneca’s shot.

Also, Australia has doubled its order of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, because the nation races to overtake its inoculation plan over issues about the dangers of blood clots with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Many of the choices to limit using the jab additionally need to be seen within the context of a rustic gaining access to different jabs, and low charges of Covid. 

What has AstraZeneca stated?

In March of this year, AstraZeneca stated it was analysing its database to know “whether these very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) occur any more commonly than would be expected naturally in a population of millions of people”.

Meanwhile on Apr 6, a trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on youngsters was paused, however the scientists concerned stated there have been no security issues with the trial itself and they had been ready for additional data from the MHRA.

In response to those issues, an Oxford University examine examined the incidence of blood clotting on the brain in coronavirus sufferers and AstraZeneca recipients, discovering that the prevalence of brain clots from coronavirus was eight occasions larger than the danger offered by the AstraZeneca jab.

Sir John Bell, Oxford University’s Professor of Medicine, has said that he expects all vaccines to have “some background level of clotting issues”. Prof Sir Bell went on to say that the info on this concern was nonetheless being collected for additional examine.

What about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and blood clots?

Regulators within the United States paused the roll out of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine after six individuals suffered blood clots two weeks after receiving the jab – one particular person died. Regulators say the choice relies on an “abundance of caution”, and have since resumed use of the jab after a security overview. 

The determination is already being felt extra extensively: the company delayed shipments of the vaccine to Europe. And South Africa, which determined to cease utilizing the AstraZeneca vaccine due to lack of efficacy towards a brand new variant, has additionally put its marketing campaign on pause. 

On Apr 20, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) stated there was a doable hyperlink between Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine and uncommon blood clots however stated the advantages of the J&J vaccine far outweighed the dangers and that additional investigations would proceed. 

What are the side effects of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine?

The AstraZeneca vaccine lists the next side-effects that may happen after the jab: tenderness, ache, heat, itching or bruising the place the injection is given, usually feeling unwell, feeling drained, chills or feeling feverish, headache, feeling sick (nausea), joint ache or muscle ache.

Ian Douglas, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, explains that these side-effects are “pretty common” and happen in a couple of in 10 people who find themselves given the vaccine.

When ought to I see a health care provider?

While some individuals will expertise side-effects from the jab, consultants have stated that sure signs could also be an indication of a extra critical situation which wants quick medical consideration.

Prof Beverley Hunt, medical director on the charity Thrombosis UK, stated thrombosis within the head can current as an especially unhealthy headache.

“We’ve seen patients who have been presenting with thrombosis in the head or abdomen from about day four after the vaccine,” she stated.

“I feel it is crucial to inform those that a number of individuals get side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine and they normally quiet down by day 4 or 5.

“What we’ve seen is people presenting with the worst headache they have ever had on day four and they have proved to have thrombosis in the large vein of the head.”

What components improve the danger of blood clots?

Blood clots are uncommon in younger, wholesome individuals. Below is an inventory of things that may make them extra widespread, though it isn’t clear if these components are concerned within the post-vaccination occasions, that are a particular form of clot occurring alongside low platelets. In fact, haematologists have said there is currently no evidence these groups are more at risk of this side-effect. 

Generally, you usually tend to expertise a blood clot should you: 

  •  Are staying in or just lately left hospital – particularly should you can’t transfer round a lot (like after an operation)
  •  Are obese
  • Smoke
  • Are utilizing mixed hormonal contraception such because the mixed capsule, contraceptive patch or vaginal ring
  • Have had a blood clot earlier than
  • Are pregnant or have simply had a child
  • Have an inflammatory situation comparable to Crohn’s illness or rheumatoid arthritis

What different vaccines can be found?

The UK is presently utilizing two vaccines, Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca, whereas a 3rd coronavirus vaccine, the Moderna jab, started its rollout in Wales on Apr 7.

Meanwhile, preliminary outcomes introduced on Apr 6 from the trials of the Valneva Covid-19 vaccine, which is ready to be manufactured within the UK, have proven it produces a “strong immune response”, paving the best way for a section three scientific trial.


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