Coronavirus news – live: AstraZeneca jab linked to clots, EMA vaccine chief says, amid UK ‘third wave’ warning
Shops and pubs to reopen on April 12, Johnson confirms
A senior official at the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said there is a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare cases of blood clots reported across the continent.
The vaccines minister has said the UK’s medicines regulator is looking at “very rare instances of blood clotting”, adding both the Oxford/Astrazeneca and Pfizer jabs saved thousands of lives in the country in a few months.
Meanwhile, experts have warned there could be a “resurgence” of Covid-19 infections as England continues on its route out of lockdown.
Also on Monday, Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, has said Labour is “very sceptical” about Covid passports and wanted more details about how they would work.
It comes after a government paper said they were “likely to become a feature of our lives until the threat from the pandemic recedes”.
But Boris Johnson has said said there will be no vaccine-passport scheme as part of the next two stages of lockdown easing.
Most EU countries should have enough Covid-19 vaccines to immunise the majority of their citizens by the end of June, a new report has revealed.
Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain will all be in a position to vaccinate more than 55 per cent of their population before July, according to a European Commission memo cited byBloomberg.
MHRA ‘looking at very rare instances of blood clotting’, minister says
The UK’s medicines regulator is examining potential links between the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab and rare blood clots, the vaccines minister said on Monday.
“To put it in perspective, we have done almost 20 million vaccinations using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine,” Nadhim Zahawi said.
“Both vaccines have saved something like 6,300 lives between December and the end of February, so it’s important to continue to follow what the clinicians, the scientists, the regulators tell us. And we will absolutely do exactly as they say.”
The vaccines minister said the regulator is “looking at these very rare instances of blood clotting”.
The Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) looks “very closely” at reports of adverse reactions to the vaccines, he told BBC Breakfast.
The agency has said it identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events out of 18.1 million doses of the jab administered up to and including 24 March, out of which there have been seven deaths.
The regulator said the benefits of the vaccine in preventing coronavirus outweigh any risks and has urged the public to continue coming forward for the jab.