The UK medical regulator said Saturday that out of 30 people who suffered rare blood clots after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, seven have died.
The British acknowledgement of deaths comes as several European countries have paused the use of the AstraZeneca jab over a potential link to blood clots.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a statement that “Out of the 30 reports up to and including 24 March, sadly 7 have died.”
The reports of thrombosis, submitted by medics or members of the public via a government website, came after 18.1 million doses of the vaccine had been administered in the country.
Most of the cases (22) were a rare clotting condition called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Eight cases saw people suffer other types of thrombosis combined with low levels of blood platelets, which help blood clot.
There were no reports of blood clots from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the UK regulator said, adding that “our thorough review into these reports is ongoing”.
But MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine stressed that the benefits far outweighed any risks. “The public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so,” she said.
Both the MHRA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) say no causal link has yet been established between the blood clotting case and the AstraZeneca vaccine.
But growing concerns have prompted a number of countries to pause rollout of the vaccine or limit it to older people due to the relatively young age of those who suffered blood clots.
Netherlands on Friday halted vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab for people under the age of 60 after five new cases among younger women, one of whom died.
Germany has suspended the use of the vaccine for those under 60 after 31 cases of blood clots, most of them among younger and middle-aged women.
A number of other countries including France have imposed a similar age restrictions, while Denmark and Norway have suspended all use of the vaccine.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), which like the World Health Organization previously declared the AstraZeneca vaccine safe, is expected to announce updated advice on the issue on April 7.
It said Wednesday that there had been 62 cases worldwide of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, 44 of them in the European Economic Area, which includes the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
This figure did not include all Germany’s cases, however.
More than 9.2 million AstraZeneca jabs have been administered in the region.
The EMA said it believes the vaccine is safe and that experts have found no specific risk factors such as age, gender or medical history.
Paul Hunter, a medical microbiologist at Britain’s University of East Anglia, told AFP that he had initially thought the link between vaccination and blood clots was likely to be a “random association”.
As evidence mounts of clusters in separate countries, “the weight of evidence is now looking towards Oxford-AstraZeneca actually being the cause of these adverse events”, he said.
Nevertheless, the risk for the unvaccinated of dying from Covid is “substantially greater,” he said.
A spokeswoman for AstraZeneca told AFP that patient safety is its “highest priority”.
UK, EU and World Health Organization regulatory bodies have concluded that the benefits “significantly outweigh the risks across all adult age groups”, she said.
AstraZeneca said last month following US efficiency trials that its vaccine is 76 percent effective at preventing the disease. It also said data for the EU and the UK showed no increased risk of blood clots.
The UK has administered more than 31 million first vaccine doses, using both the Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs. People cannot choose which one they get.
The UK in June 2020 ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and supported its development. It also ordered 30 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine the same year.
Akeredolu: 124,817 Pregnant Women Living With HIV In Ondo
Ondo Government, yesterday, said no fewer than 124,817 pregnant women have tested positive for HIV between 2017 till date in the state.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu disclosed this at the launch of HIV Treatment Surge campaign in the state organized by APIN Public Health Initiatives in collaboration with CDC Nigeria and United States government. He said out of the infected pregnant women, 926 have accessed elimination of Mother-To-Child-Transmission of the disease..
He expressed the readiness of his administration to rid the state of HIV/AIDS.
The governor, represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mrs Oladunni Odu said the launch of HIV treatment surge campaign was another first of its kind in the state.
The governor also disclosed that almost two million condom caplets had been distributed in the state since 2017 till date.
“Our government places premium on improved living standard of our people, where they live, work and play. It is our avowed determination to put a stop to all forms of preventable morbidity and mortality.
“The HIV pandemic requires us to open our eyes and not dismiss HIV infection as someone else issue. It requires us to open our arms to people living with HIV and give them our solidarity and support. I call on all international partners, Civil Society Organizations, religious bodies and other stakeholders to continue to join hands with government in order to achieve the ultimate goal.
“As a people-oriented government, we shall continue to provide the enabling social and policy environment to facilitate HIV/AIDS intervention programmes,” he added.
U.S Consul General in Nigeria, Claire Pierangelo said the programme is helping to identify people living with HIV and place those identified on free life-saving treatment.
Pierangelo urged the Ondo State government to eliminate all fees charged by healthcare facilities for nonessential services.
Resident Doctors Suspend Nationwide Strike.
The National Association of Resident Doctors has suspended its ten days old strike.
The National President of the Association, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, confirmed this in a chat with Vanguard on Saturday.
He said the strike was suspended due to their responsibility to Nigerians and that the Federal government had met some of their demands.
According to him, the strike was suspended after a series of long hours of meetings with various stakeholders in the health sector.
“We have suspended the strike to show our patriotism to Nigerians. The government has met some of our demands and they have assured us that all our needs will be met. We are working on a press statement to that effect.
“Tomorrow we will be having a press conference,” he stated.
“Who Marriage Help?” Uche Ogbodo Advises Unmarried Women
“Who Marriage Help?” Uche Ogbodo Asks As She Advices Unmarried Women Above 30 To Have Their Kids Rather Than Abort.
In A Lengthy Video Posted To Her IG, The Actress Spoke About Her First Pregnancy At 27 And Her Current One Now That She’s 34.
She Said She Doesn’t Regret Having Her First Child, Who Is Now 6, Or This One She’s Pregnant With.
She Added That Abortion Is Against Her Beliefs As A Catholic, Then Said It’s Silly For A Woman Above 30 To Have An Abortion Because She’s Waiting For Marriage.
She Advised Women To Have Their Kids, Rather Than Wait Till They Are No Longer Fertile Because They Want To Get Married First.
She Went On To Reveal That Marriage Doesn’t Favour Everyone And Gave An Example With An Old Acquaintance Who No Longer Looks Beautiful Since She Got Married.
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