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Britain sees 25 new blood-clot cases linked to AstraZeneca vaccine

The country's drugs regulator said the benefits of the shot continue to outweigh the risks

Coronavirus Vaccine | UK govt | AstraZeneca


Photo: Reuters
With the new reports, the rate of incidents with the AstraZeneca shot in the UK is about 1 in 600,000.

The UK reported 25 new cases of rare blood clots possibly linked to Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine, adding to the numbers that have caused some European countries to adopt precautionary measures. The fresh reports lift the total number of cases to 30 as of March 24, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said in a statement Thursday. The benefits of the shot continue to outweigh the risks, the regulator said. AstraZeneca’s vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, is under mounting scrutiny and has faced dwindling support in Europe. Still, countries are counting on the shot to help them exit the pandemic, and millions of doses have been administered across the region. The UK agency said that the 30 incidents were out of 18.1 million doses of vaccine given by March 24. Prior to that, the agency disclosed five cases on March 18, out of 11 million shots. With the new reports, the rate of incidents with the shot in the UK is about 1 in 600,000. There were no reports of the same reactions to the vaccine from Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, which is also being used in Britain. “On the basis of this ongoing review, the benefits of the vaccines against Covid-19 continue to outweigh any risks and you should continue to get your vaccine when invited to do so,” the MHRA said.

The AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines have shown “very high levels of protection” against Covid-19, the agency said, adding that “all vaccines and medicines have some side effects.” The UK has one of the world’s fastest-moving vaccine programs, administering shots to more than half of all adults by late March. New daily Covid cases and deaths have fallen to the lowest levels since September, even as infections surge anew across much of the European Union, where immunisations have lagged. Earlier this week, the EU drugs regulator said a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare type of blood clot is possible, identifying at least 62 cases of the condition.

UK adds 4 more countries to travel ban list The British government is adding four more countries — Bangladesh, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines — to its travel ban list amid concerns over new variants of the coronavirus. The Department for Transport said the latest restrictions will take effect in England from April 9. Under the terms of the travel bans, visitors who have departed from or travelled through the countries in the prece­ding 10 days will be refused entry into England. Sri Lanka temporarily suspends jabs Sri Lanka has temporarily halted its Covid-19 vaccin­ation programme as there was a delay in securing more AstraZeneca vaccines from the Serum Institute of India, a top health minister has said. Sri Lanka launched its inoculation programme late January when India gifted 500,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca. The Serum Institute of India (SII) recently suspended exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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First Published: Fri, April 02 2021. 22:04 IST