The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) revealed that out of 30 cases of blood clots after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK, 22 were reported with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), and eight were reported with other thrombosis events with low platelets.
Of them, seven have died as of March 24, the UK medical regulator said in a statement sent to AFP on Saturday, April 3.
However, the MHRA insisted that the risk of having this specific type of blood clot is minimal, urging the public to keep receiving the vaccine.
“The benefits of the vaccines against Covid-19 continue to outweigh any risks,” MHRA chief executive Dr. June Raine said. “The public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so.”
“The number and nature of suspected adverse reactions reported so far are not unusual in comparison to other types of routinely used vaccines,” Raine said.
Reports of thrombosis came after 18.1 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine have been given out in the UK.
However, no such cases were found with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
On April 7, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will provide updated advice on the matter. The agency reiterated on Wednesday that it believes the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and that no potential risk factors, such as age, gender, or medical history, have been identified.
However, the Netherlands on Friday became the first European country to suspend vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab for people under the age of 60, citing worries about potential ties to rare blood clots. The decision was made in response to five new cases in the country involving women aged 25 to 65, one of whom died.
Several other nations, including France, have placed similar age limits, while Denmark and Norway have banned the vaccine entirely.
Earlier this week, Germany made a similar decision. After 31 cases of blood clots, the bulk of which occurred in younger and middle-aged women, Germany has placed the vaccine on hold for those under the age of 60.
It recorded 62 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis worldwide on Wednesday, 44 of which were in the European Economic Region, including the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.