British Health Officials Back AstraZeneca/Oxford Jab

Published March 18th, 2021 - 08:00 GMT
British Health Officials Back AstraZeneca/Oxford Jab
France and Italy said they were planning to recommence vaccinations on Tuesday after the European Medicines Agency deemed the vaccine to be safe. (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Jeremy Brown - a member of Britain's vaccine advisory committee - and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng all reinforced their support for the vaccine
Multiple British health officials defended the AstraZeneca/Oxford coronavirus jab on Wednesday, after recent decisions by multiple countries to temporarily suspend its use due to fears it causes blood clotting.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Jeremy Brown - a member of Britain's vaccine advisory committee - and Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng all reinforced their support for the vaccine on Wednesday.

Cyprus, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Sweden and Venezuela on Tuesday joined the list of countries suspending the use of the AstraZeneca jab, dpa reported.

However, France and Italy said they were planning to recommence vaccinations on Tuesday after the European Medicines Agency deemed the vaccine to be safe.

In a comment piece for the British newspaper The Sun, Hancock said there was "no evidence that vaccines caused these clots," adding "blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon."

Kwarteng echoed Hancock's sentiments, telling British broadcaster the BBC: "The first thing I would like to say is that the jab is safe. ... if people do get the call, I think they should take the jab."

Kwarteng declined to comment on whether he believed the decision to pause the vaccines was political.

Elsewhere, Brown, of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said he did not believe the specific clot at the root of concerns in Germany "will turn out to be linked to the vaccine anyway" as it is a "rare event."

"Using that as a reason to stop using the vaccine when we know the vaccine prevents 85 to 90 per cent admission to hospital is not sensible," he told British broadcaster ITV.


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