P

rime Minister Boris Johnson has sought to reassure the public the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is safe after UK regulators said there was a possible link between the jab and “extremely rare” blood clots.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the benefits still outweigh the risks overall but while it has not concluded that the vaccine causes rare brain clots, it said the link is getting firmer.

Regulators have recommended that people aged 18 to 29 should be offered the Pfizer Moderna or other vaccines that come on stream as the programme continues to rollout across the UK.

It comes as the family of a solicitor who died from a blood clot after receiving an AstraZeneca vaccine urged the public to “keep saving lives” by taking up a jab when offered it.

The Prime Minister sought to boost public confidence in the Oxford-developed shot as he said the changes in its use would not force a change in the road map out of lockdown.

Mr Johnson told reporters in Cornwall: “These vaccines are safe, they’ve saved many thousands of lives and people should come forward to get their jabs and we’ll make sure that they get the right jabs.”

MHRA’s chief executive Dr June Raine told a press conference that there was a “reasonably plausible” link between the AstraZeneca jab and rare blood clots, but stressed these were “extremely rare”.

HEALTH Coronavirus / PA Graphics

She said: “Based on the current evidence, the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca against Covid-19 and its associated risks – hospitalisation and death – continues to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.

“Our review has reinforced that the risk of this rare suspected side effect remains extremely small.”

Meanwhile the family of Neil Astles, 59, who died in hospital on Easter Sunday after receiving his first AstraZeneca jab dose on March 17, told the Telegraph that they wanted the public to continue taking up the vaccine.



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