AstraZeneca woes continue as the Netherlands halts vaccine

Source BBC

In France, which has restricted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over 55, the family of a 38-year-old woman who died after suffering post-vaccination blood clots in the brain filed a criminal complaint in Toulouse seeking a manslaughter investigation.

The reports represented 25 more cases than Britain's medicines regulator had previously received, going some way toward addressing a mystery that has hung over safety concerns about the vaccine: why Britain had not observed the same phenomenon that has been seen in continental Europe, driving countries including France, Germany and Sweden to stop giving the shot to younger people, who are believed to be at higher risk from the rare clotting events.

Dr Fauci provided a dubious answer when asked whether the US Department of Health will use the 300 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine the US bought past year.

The MHRA said on Thursday there had been "22 reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and 8 reports of other thrombosis events with low platelets".

The vaccine is not now being used in New Zealand.

But the head of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said there is "no evidence" to support restricting the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in any population.

Across the United Kingdom, some 18.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered.

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In reporting its updated case count, Britain's medicines regulator said that "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". Germany took a similar decision earlier in the week.

Britain's medicines regulator is urging people to continue taking the AstraZeneca coronavirusvaccine, despite revealing that seven people in the United Kingdom have died from rare blood clots after getting the jab.

The decision to suspend use of the vaccine is a further blow to the Dutch vaccination campaign which is running behind schedule.

However, Ireland's medicines watchdog has said that none of the reports notified described the type of disorder associated with concerns about the AstraZeneca vaccine. Benefits of vaccination against Covid-19 continue to outweigh any risks.

She added that all studies indicated the vaccine was safe and effective, while the fact different nations were reviewing their position was a sign that the "system was working".

Linda Bauld, professor at Edinburgh University, said: "It doesn't look from the behavioural response, the surveys I've seen, that it's affecting uptake in the United Kingdom and that's really important".

Last week, Britain announced a third coronavirus vaccine from United States firm Moderna (MRNA) will be rolled out in the United Kingdom from April and will join the AstraZeneca and Pfizer (PFE)/ BioNtech (BNTX) jabs already being offered on the NHS. Almost five million people have gotten their second jab.

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