AstraZeneca: Sister of blood clot victim urges UK to get jabbed
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And their assessment has been backed up by Australian television reporter Tegan George, who pointed out ”Women have been prescribed it for decades.” Concerns over AstraZeneca jab, developed in conjunction with Oxford University, have prompted a ban on administering it to people under the age of 30 in the UK.
Meanwhile numerous countries in Europe have imposed restrictions on its use for people over the age of 65 as a result of isolated cases of blood clots.
However, speaking to Good Morning Britain today, Professor Adam Finn, who sits on the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation said it was crucial to keep things in perspective.
He explained: “The contraceptive pill is a medicine that women take not because they are ill but as a choice in terms of how they are living their lives.
“The risks of thrombosis that come with taking the pill are very much higher than the risks that we were just seeing.”
Prof Finn added: “Every year, a woman runs a risk approaching one in a hundred of getting some kind of thrombosis and some of those thromboses are severe and even life-threatening as well.
“So, that’s a risk that many women take, and accept quite willingly all the time, and it’s a far greater risk in fact than the risk we are seeing with this important vaccine that has the potential to get us all out of this dilemma.”
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Mrs George, 10 News First’s Federal Political Reporter, today tweeted: “Can we pause for a minute to acknowledge the oral contraceptive pill has a much higher risk of blood clots … and women have been prescribed it for decades.”
According to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulation Authority (MHRA), up to March 31, there have been 79 reports of blood clots accompanied by low blood platelet count in the UK, all of which were recorded in people after receiving their first dose.
Of these 79, 19 people have died, although the cause of death has not been conclusively established in every case. Of the 79 cases, ranging in age from 18 to 79, 51 were women 28 were men.
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Given the total number of doses administered, there is, therefore, a four in one million risk of developing a clot, and a one in a million risk of dying.
By contrast, the National Blood Clot Alliance in the US estimates that one in 1,000 women annually who take birth control pills will develop a clot, equating to a much higher risk of 0.1 percent, or one in 1,000, making them 250 times more likely to do so than those receiving an AstraZeneca jab.
Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the JCVI, explained that the chance of suffering a clot after a vaccine was much lower than for other medicines or during pregnancy.
He explained: “These are extremely rare events – much, much rarer than, for instance, clots due to common drugs that we prescribe such as the contraceptive pill; much rarer than clots during pregnancy; much, much rarer than clots due to Covid itself.
“We do know that as we come out of lockdown and as cases in Europe rise during a third wave, we may experience a third wave in this country over the next few months.
“And therefore to be unprotected would be to leave yourself at risk of developing Covid, and of course all the complications that come with Covid, including I might say quite severe blood clots, much higher risk of getting severe blood clots from Covid than the extremely small risk from this vaccination.”
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News today: “The number of people dying from Covid halved in the last nine days and is down 90 percent from the peak.”
All vaccines in use in the UK were “safe for all ages”, but the “extremely rare” risk of suffering a rare brain blood clot, and the tipping of the balance of risk for the under-30s, means they could be given other jabs instead.
Speaking directly to younger people who may be thinking they do not need a vaccine, Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “The vaccines are safe, and if you want to have the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine instead then that is fine.
“Covid is a horrible disease and long Covid affects people in their 20s just as much it seems as any other age group and can have debilitating side effects that essentially ruin your life.
“The safety system that we have around this vaccine is so sensitive that it can pick up events that are four in a million (the chance of developing a rare brain blood clot) – I’m told this is about the equivalent risk of taking a long-haul flight.”
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