Daily US Times: The UK health secretary has said Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid jab is safe. His comments came after some European nations paused its use amid concern over blood clots.
Matt Hancock urged British people to “listen to the regulators” and to “get the jab” as soon as they got the opportunity.
Some 13 countries have suspended use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid jab while they seek further clarification on its safety.
But the MHRA, the UK’s medicines watchdog, has said that evidence “does not suggest” the jab causes clots.
About 17 million people across the European Union and the UK have received a dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported as of last week, AstraZeneca said.
The vaccine manufacturer said the number of cases of blood clots reported was lower than the hundreds of cases that would be expected among the general population.
In a bid to reassure the British public, the UK health secretary stressed that the MHRA, the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency all believed the vaccine was safe.
Mr Hancock said: “We keep the effects of these vaccines under review all the time and we know that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is saving lives in the UK right now so if you get the call, get the jab.”
Asked if there had been evidence of people declining the vaccine after the European suspensions, Mr Hancock said there were still “huge numbers of people vaccinated every day” and that “enthusiasm for getting the vaccine is incredibly strong”.
Downing Street has also defended the safety of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid jab, with the PM’s official spokesman insisting that Boris Johnson would be happy to take it when it came to his turn.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Duchess of Cornwall revealed that she had received the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab earlier this year.
Speaking during a visit to a pop-up vaccination centre in London, Camilla joked that it “didn’t matter” which jab she was given because “I hate injections so much”.
It was announced in mid-February that Prince Charles, 72, and the duchess, 73, had received their first coronavirus vaccine dose. Their ages meant they were included in the fourth priority group for the rollout of the vaccine.
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