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In the UK, 30 cases of rare blood clotting have been recorded in more than 18 million people who received the AstraZeneca vaccination, the national medicines agency said on Friday.
“The benefits of vaccines against COVID-19 continue to outweigh any risks,” the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) said, urging the public to keep taking the vaccine.
As of March 24, 22 reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and eight other low platelet thrombosis events had been recorded.
“The risk of developing this particular type of blood clot is very small,” the agency said.
“The number and types of suspected side effects reported to date are not uncommon when compared to other types of routinely used vaccines,” the MHRA’s online statement said.
However, there have been no such reports for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.
The agency said vaccination was the most efficient way to reduce the number of deaths and serious illnesses from the coronavirus.
The Netherlands became the youngest in a number of European countries on Friday to discontinue vaccinations with the AstraZeneca shock for those under 60 for fear of links to rare blood clots.
The move came after five new cases in the Netherlands involving women between the ages of 25 and 65, one of whom died.
Germany made a similar decision earlier this week.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which, like the World Health Organization, has already declared the AstraZeneca vaccine safe, is expected to make updated recommendations on this subject on April 7th.
The EMA said again on Wednesday that it believed the vaccine was safe and that experts had not found any specific risk factors such as age, gender or medical history.
The UK, where the vaccine was jointly developed with Oxford University, was one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus with nearly 127,000 deaths.
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