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AstraZeneca vaccine: Blood clots are “extremely rare” and benefits outweigh risks, regulators conclude

BMJ 2021; 373 doi: (Published 08 April 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;373:n931

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  1. Elisabeth Mahase
  1. The BMJ

Investigations by EU and UK regulators into reports of unusual blood clots after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine have concluded that these are a “possible” and “extremely rare” side effect. Neither agency established a causal relation.

However, although both regulators concluded that no age restrictions were necessary for the vaccine, the UK’s vaccine advisory committee has decided that adults under 30 who are healthy and not at risk of developing severe covid-19 should be offered an alternative vaccine where possible.

Wei Shen Lim, chair of the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said, “We are not advising a stop to any vaccination for any individual in any age group. We are advising a preference for one vaccine over another vaccine for a particular age group, really out of the utmost caution rather than because we have any serious safety concerns.”

Among more than 20 million people who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK so far, 79 cases of rare blood clots with low platelets have been reported, as well as 19 deaths, said the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare …

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