Saturday 3 April 2021 11:31 am

UK reports seven blood clot deaths after Astrazeneca vaccine

Seven people in the UK have died from blood clots after taking Astrazeneca’s Covid vaccine, Britain’s medicines regulator has confirmed.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it received reports of 30 unusual blood clotting events among patients who have received the Astrazeneca jab, of which seven have died.

It is still unclear whether there is a causal link between the coronavirus vaccine made by the Anglo-Swedish firm and an increased risk of blood clots.

However, the MHRA insisted that the benefits of the jab continue to outweigh any potential risks.

Downing Street said it would keep reviewing the evidence but that its advice and vaccination strategy remained unchanged. “We remain absolutely confident in the vaccine,” a Number 10 spokesperson said.

Earlier this week the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said a causal link was “not proven, but is possible”.

The EMA’s refusal to draw a definitive conclusion on potential risks associated with the vaccine has seen several European countries temporarily ban the jab.

France, Sweden, Finland, Canada and Germany have all recommended that young people, who have a heightened risk of blood clots, should not take the Astrazeneca vaccine.

The Netherlands has limited the vaccine to those aged 60 or older, pending further guidance from European regulators. 

Germany has restricted the use of the vaccine for under-60s, despite the country lagging far behind Europe in its immunisation programme.

Just 12.9 per cent of adults in the country have received their first dose of a Covid vaccine, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. In comparison, more than 60 per cent of adults in the UK have received at least a first dose of the jab.

Meanwhile, Norway and Denmark have both suspended the Astrazeneca vaccine altogether, despite it receiving the green light for continued use by the EMA.