AstraZeneca jab concerns taken 'very seriously', UK adviser says
The UK is taking concerns about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and its potential link to blood clots "very seriously", a government adviser said ahead of expected updates from regulators.
The shot, the easiest to make and distribute of vaccines available, has been subject to doubts because of cases of blood clots among a small number of those who have received it. More than a dozen EU countries suspended the vaccine temporarily in March and concerns have arisen in the Britain.
Regulators in the UK and the EU are expected on Wednesday to report progress on their investigation into the extent of links between the vaccine and rare blood clots in the brain.
Adam Finn, a professor at Bristol University who sits on the government's vaccination committee, said people should accept the jab if offered it because "the risk-benefit is strongly in favour".
He told the BBC cases of blood clots in the UK were being investigated "very seriously" and "very thoroughly". Of 18m people vaccinated with the jab in the UK, 30 cases of rare blood clots have been reported and seven people have died.
Finn said the reported clots were an unusual combination of thrombosis and low platelet counts. "That makes them stand out and makes us think that this is something a bit different and out of the norm," he said.
A trial of the vaccine for children was put on hold on Tuesday until the UK regulator publishes its view. Finn said it was possible that certain vaccines would be used for certain groups as more jabs become available.
AstraZeneca shares fell 0.6% to £71.41 at 12:43 GMT.