An AstraZeneca press briefing on blood clot safety fears will be hosted today by the British watchdog

Illustrative image shows vials with attached Covid-19 vaccine stickers and syringes

Britain’s drug watchdog will hold a press conference today on AstraZeneca’s safety fears.
The UK medicines regulator will take stock of its investigation into whether the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine directly causes rare brain blood clots at 3 p.m. during a televised briefing.

This meeting will be chaired by Professor Jonathan Van-Tam as well as Dr June Raine, Managing Director of the MHRA, Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chairman of the Human Medicines Committee, and Professor Wei Shen, Chairman of the Joint Committee for Vaccination and immunization. .

AstraZeneca has previously said that its studies have not found a higher risk of clots due to the vaccine, as millions of doses have been given around the world.

Sir Keir Starmer said people should continue to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine if they are asked to receive a vaccine.

The Labor leader said he was “perfectly safe” ahead of an announcement expected by regulators later Wednesday.

Clinician withdraws dose of AstraZeneca / Oxford Covid-19 vaccine
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

He told reporters in Plymouth: “We will wait and see what is said this afternoon regarding AstraZeneca. I encourage everyone who is invited to come forward for the vaccine, to come forward and to have it.

“I did, and had the AstraZeneca jab, perfectly safe.

“I think the most important thing that comes out of this pandemic is to get as many people vaccinated as possible. “

Sir Keir, who had no side effects after his stroke, said the vaccines were “the light at the end of the tunnel”.

Director General of the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) June Raine
(Image: REUTERS)

A senior official with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in an interview published Tuesday that there was a link between the vaccine and rare blood clots in the brain, but the possible causes were still unknown.

The EMA later said in a statement that its review of the vaccine was underway.

He will take stock of his investigation on Wednesday afternoon.

British scientists largely agreed with regulators, saying the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the potential risks.

An update will be given on Wednesday afternoon
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol and a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI), said it was vital to keep vaccines running as society opens up, in order to help prevent rising infection rates.

He urged those who are currently being offered the vaccine to take it, saying that “the risk-benefit ratio is very strongly in favor of receiving the vaccine.”

Professor Calum Semple, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), which advises ministers, said he was “not at all worried” about the headlines about the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Speaking in a personal capacity, he told LBC radio: ‘I’ll take it myself, I’m 53, my risk of dying from Covid is about one in 13,000, for me it’s a obviously I need to have the vaccine. ”

Paramedic prepares AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine / University of Oxford
Paramedic prepares AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine / University of Oxford
(Image: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, former MHRA chief professor Sir Kent Woods also told LBC radio: ‘Covid itself – the infection itself – is known to be associated with an increased risk of blood clots. blood of all kinds.

“At a time when the population has a lot of Covid circulating, it is very difficult to know what the actual background rate of these clotting events is without the vaccine.

“We can say that I think if there is a connection, it’s a very, very rare. “

The UK regulator – the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) – is investigating reports of a very rare and specific type of blood clot in the brain, known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), occurring along with low platelet counts (thrombocytopenia) after vaccination.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said the MHRA is looking “very closely” at reports of adverse reactions to vaccines.

The agency said it had identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events out of 18.1 million doses of the vaccine administered up to and including March 24.

There were seven deaths among the 30 cases.

But the regulator said earlier that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing coronavirus outweigh all the risks, and he urged the public to continue to show up for the vaccine.

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