The British regulator has identified 168 major cases of blood clots in the United Kingdom in patients who received the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus, including 32 fatalities, for more than 21.2 million first doses administered, according to a report released Thursday.
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Analyzing these data, which go until April 14, the MHRA still believes that “the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks in the majority of people.”
The incidence rate thus amounts to 7.9 cases of clots per million doses and the data suggest a higher rate in younger adults, the regulator stressing that these evolving elements must be taken into account in the use of this vaccine.
The scientific committee overseeing the British vaccination campaign recommended in early April to limit the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over thirty years old when possible.
Fears around rare cases of blood clots have led several European countries to limit the use of the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and the Anglo-Swedish laboratory to the oldest categories of the population.
The cases of clots recorded in the United Kingdom concern 93 women and 75 men aged between 18 and 93 years. One of them intervened after a second dose of the vaccine.
This increase in the number of cases was “expected”, reacted Professor Adam Finn, of the University of Bristol, quoted by the organization Science media center.
Stressing that the public and the nursing staff are now aware of this syndrome, he notes that “cases are reported reliably and quickly”, some “which have occurred previously are now recognized and also reported”.
He explained that he expected “that the number of cases per million vaccines will become clear rather quickly and that the reports will stabilize, but it is clear” that the clots “will remain a very rare event”.
With the heaviest death toll in Europe with more than 127,000 deaths, the United Kingdom has embarked on a mass vaccination campaign, currently using the AstraZeneca, Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
According to the latest figures, more than 33 million people have received a first dose, more than eleven million a second.