Statement on AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following JCVI update

Marco Green
May 7, 2021

The new study, led by researchers in Denmark, assessed the rates of heart and blood clot "events" in the first 28 days after people were jabbed with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in Denmark and Norway.

Both countries have stopped using the vaccine as part of their immunisation programmes.

In a linked opinion piece, Professor Paul Hunter at the University of East Anglia said the new study improves understanding of the population risk of thrombotic events after the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, but it does not change the conclusions of the United Kingdom and European medicines regulators that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine "far outweigh its risks for most age groups". The researchers said this included a higher-than-expected rate of rare brain blood clots, known as cerebral venous thrombosis, at 2.5 cases per 100,000 vaccinations.

Health Canada offered parents anxious about their unvaccinated children some fresh hope Wednesday by clearing the Pfizer vaccine for use in people as young as 12 years old.

They found no increase in the rate of arterial clots, such as heart attacks or strokes, according to the findings in the British Medical Journal.

Meanwhile, researchers found 15 deaths from all causes after vaccination with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine compared with an expected 44 deaths, showing a lower chance of death after the vaccine.

Norway suspended its rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 11 after a small number of cases of blood clots combined with bleeding and low platelet counts. More are expected to be announced tomorrow in its weekly report.

The Ministry of Health is advising the public that Trinidad and Tobago will receive another 33,600 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine via the COVAX facility, during the week ending Friday May 14.

Pakistan was supposed to get the first tranche of AstraZeneca's Covishield vaccine through COVAX in March but the vaccine supply was delayed after the Serum Institute of India (SII) diverted the supplies to meet its domestic needs, officials said.

To cut the risk of this happening the Government will, in autumn, offer a third jab to everyone over the age of 50 or in a clinically vulnerable group.

While studies underway in the United Kingdom now are looking at whether it's practical to mix one dose of AstraZeneca with a second dose of an mRNA vaccine like Pfizer, the current federal guidance is for all recipients to get two doses of the same product.

The federal ministry official maintained that another consignment of the vaccine has been committed in June alongside "a little over 0.1 million" Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine doses, adding even Moderna's vaccine could be supplied to Pakistan through COVAX.

Mr Zahawi said the scheme would "future-proof the vaccination programme for next year and the years beyond that, as we move from pandemic to endemic and deal with it in the way we would deal with the annual flu vaccination programme".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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