Risk of blood clots after AstraZeneca Covid injection is ‘small’ and people are three times more likely to die if not vaccinated
- Researchers in Denmark and Norway looked at the number of blood clots across the country
- Found slightly increased rates of blood clots and brain clots in people with AZ shots
- But stressed that the unvaccinated were nearly three times more likely to die
The risk of blood clots after the Oxford shot is “ small ” in people who are three times more likely to die if they haven’t had the vaccine, a study finds.
Researchers in Denmark and Norway looked at national numbers of blood clots and related conditions in 280,000 people who had had the shot between February and March this year.
They found a slightly higher rate of blood clots in the veins, including clots in the veins of the brain, compared to the expected rates in the general population.
However, the researchers emphasize that the risk of such side effects was low, while those who were not vaccinated were nearly three times more likely to die than those who had it.
In a linked editorial, British scientist Professor Paul Hunter of the University of East Anglia said the findings showed countries were wrong in interrupting the Oxford jab.
He said the results confirmed that the benefits “far outweigh the risks for most age groups.”
He added: ‘It remains that for most age groups, the odds of surviving the year are much higher for people who accept a vaccine when it is offered than when they refuse it.
Those countries that have slowed their own vaccination programs at a time of high transmission speeds by refusing to use the available Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines should know that their decision will have contributed to an increase in preventable deaths from Covid-19. ‘
The risk of blood clots after the Oxford shot is ‘small’ in people who are three times more likely to die if they have not had the vaccine (file)
Using national health records, researchers identified the rates of events such as heart attacks, strokes, deep vein blood clots and bleeding within 28 days of receiving a first dose of vaccine and compared them to the expected rates in the general population of Denmark and Norway.
The team of researchers compared data from 281,264 people – about four fifths were women – and compared this with data from the general population.
The researchers found 59 blood clots in the veins, compared to 30 expected in the general population.
This equates to 11 excessive blood clotting events per 100,000 vaccinations, including 2.5 extra blood clots in the brain per 100,000 vaccinations.
They found no increase in the number of arterial clots, such as heart attacks or strokes, according to the findings in the British Medical Journal.
“Increased rates of venous thromboembolic events, including cerebral venous thrombosis, were observed among recipients of ChAdOx1-S (the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine),” they said.
“The absolute risks of events were small and should be interpreted in the context of the benefits of Covid-19 vaccination on both a societal and individual level.”
Meanwhile, researchers found 15 all-cause deaths after vaccination with the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, compared to an expected 44 deaths, with a lower chance of death after the vaccine.
The vaccine has been linked to rare blood clots, and last month several European countries, including Denmark and Norway, went against the advice of the World Health Organization and halted their rollout due to concerns about the risks.
The UK medicines regulatory agency, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, previously concluded that there is a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca shot and extremely rare blood clots.
It said the benefits of vaccination still outweigh the risks, but it recommended that adults under 30 receive an alternative to the vaccine, such as the Pfizer or Moderna shot.
Officials at the MHRA, who are monitoring the potential side effects of the injections, have so far counted 168 cases of blood clots following vaccination with the UK injection in the UK. More is expected to be announced in the weekly report tomorrow.
Covid will be as treatable as the flu next year, says the vaccination minister
Covid will be treatable as the flu next year, and this year’s vaccine booster for people over 50 could kick off the annual shot program, the No10 vaccine minister said today.
Nadhim Zahawi said plans for a second vaccine rollout and massive investment in variant testing would make the country ‘future-proof’ against the coronavirus, eliminating the need for future lockdowns.
His comments came after Professor Neil Ferguson, the SAGE adviser whose warning that hundreds of thousands could die if Britain didn’t shut down by March 2020, said Britain might never need another Covid lockdown again and it looks like that pandemic ‘thanks to the roll-out of the vaccine.
He admitted to the BBC that ‘some of these measures may need to be reversed’ if a vaccine-resistant variant emerges later in the year, but he didn’t think this would happen.
To reduce the risk of this happening, the government will offer a third shot in the fall to anyone over 50 or in a clinically vulnerable group. An unnamed minister claimed it hopes the move will mean Covid “ has faded into the background like any other disease ” by Christmas.
Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, is currently overseeing trials of two ways to give fall boosters, including giving a third dose of existing injections or using updated vaccines specifically tailored for new variants. The current jabs are modeled after the Wuhan variant which is no longer dominant.
Early research has sparked hope in the government that either of the two approaches could nullify the threat posed by existing and new variants, it is understood. Matt Hancock announced last week that number 10 had purchased 60 million additional doses of the Pfizer shot to use for the second rollout.
Public Health England, which will soon become the UK’s Health Security Agency, will also pump an additional £ 30 million into analyzing positive smears to detect Covid variants and develop new vaccines to combat them as needed. The project is being coordinated from the Porton Down lab in Wiltshire.
Mr Zahawi said the plan would “ future-proof the vaccination program for next year and the years beyond as we move from pandemic to endemic and deal with it as we would with the annual flu vaccination program. ”
He warned, however, that the virus could still spread “ like wildfire ” in places where vaccine intake was low, and that officials were looking at postcode-level data to see which communities were at risk for flare-ups.