Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe for young women? Why do countries keep banning it?
AstraZeneca: Blood clots 'confined to younger women' says expert
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The AstraZeneca Covid vaccine was the second jab to be authorised for use in the UK, and most people being vaccinated across the country today are receiving the jab. But a whole host of countries have now banned the AstraZeneca/University of Oxford vaccine over ongoing blood clot fears. Is it actually safe to use?
Germany and Canada have decided to suspend the use of the vaccine for all young people, over concerns about blood clots.
Canada’s vaccine regulator recommended the jab was suspended for everyone under 55, while Germany paused the rollout for everyone under 60.
Germany’s own medical regulator claimed that it found 31 cases of rare blood clots in the 2.7 million people that had recently taken the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Just two of those 31 patients were men, prompting fears over the safety of the vaccine for women.
But, AstraZeneca has insisted that international regulators have largely found the benefits outweigh the negatives to the vaccine.
Is the AstraZeneca jab safe?
The AstraZeneca vaccine is very safe, and just like the other Covid vaccines available, it’s the best way to protect against coronavirus.
The European Medicines Agency and the UK Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency have both backed the vaccine.
They insisted that the positives to being vaccinated outweigh the negatives.
Women taking the contraceptive pill are already more at risk of blood clots than those taking the AstraZeneca jab, according to London General Practice GP, Dr Paul Ettlinger.
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“The contraceptive pills taken by millions of women pose a far greater risk of blood clots than the vaccine, and there is no evidence that the vaccine increases your risk,” he told Express.co.uk.
“Therefore, it looks like it’s a political gesture. While 37 people out of 17 million inoculations in the EU and UK have reported blood clots, women taking certain types of the contraceptive pill face much greater odds each year.
“The WHO has encouraged patients to have the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“There is no obvious link between clotting and the vaccine. The figures are the same within the same population.”
It’s a concern that anti-vax groups might use the suspension as an excuse to not get the Covid vaccine, he added.
The UK has seen a high uptake of the vaccine, but there’s greater skepticism around Europe, it’s believed.
“It’s scaremongering and a concern,” added Dr Ettlinger. “I’m worried about it being used by anti-vaxxers as an excuse to encourage others not to take the jab. This will result in increased incidents of Covid.
“It would strike me as a political angle with Brexit and the failure of the EU community to vaccinate their populations.”
Almost 31 million people have received at least one dose of the Covid vaccine in the UK.
More than 3.5m have now received both doses of the vaccine, according to the latest figures.
The Moderna vaccine is expected to arrive in the UK next month, in another boost to the ongoing rollout.
The US-made vaccine will be joining the AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BionNTech jabs for the vaccination drive.
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