Dutch stop giving AstraZeneca vaccine to under-60s pending review

Dutch stop giving AstraZeneca vaccine to under-60s pending review

The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, or MHRA, said in a statement that "Out of the 30 reports up to and including 24 March, sadly 7 have died".

It said it wasn't clear if the shots are causing the clots, and that its "rigorous review into the United Kingdom reports of rare and specific types of blood clots is ongoing".

The complaint was filed "against X" - not targeting any individual or entity at this stage - a practice allowed in France when the circumstances of a case are still unclear.

But experts have stressed that no link has been proven - and the benefits of getting the vaccine far outweighed any risks, given the dangers posed by Covid.

The figures cover 9 December 2020 to 21 March this year, when 15.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered, and around 2.2 million second doses.

"Given how consist of the clinical features are in this case, with some similar cases which have been seen overseas, it is likely that this case, which is reported, is related to the vaccine", he said.

Details of the deaths come as several European countries have paused the use of the jab over a potential link to blood clots.

The British Society for Haematology has issued new guidance for doctors, amid concerns cases of blood clotting could be linked to a condition known as thrombocytopenia. They involve blood clots combined with unusually low levels of platelets, a disorder that can lead to heavy bleeding.

"However, if you identify patients with this syndrome in proximity to coronavirus vaccination, it is very important that you complete the online yellow card - this will trigger a request from MHRA for further details".

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The vaccine is not now being used in New Zealand.

The authority indicated that "the risk of developing this specific type of blood clots is very small".

In terms of how to convince other countries of the vaccine's safety, he said: "It's not really our job to persuade other countries".

Both the EMA and the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) recommended that the use of the vaccine in Ireland should continue after a conclusion by the former that the vaccine is "safe and effective" following fears last month.

Most of the documented cases were people under the age of 55.

But the regulator said the benefits of the vaccine in preventing coronavirus outweigh any risks and it urged the public to continue coming forward for the jab.

"More research is urgently needed", he said.

But it also added that a headache is part of one of the most common side effects of the vaccine - flu-like symptoms, although these should normally disappear within a day or two.

In November, the United Kingdom became the first Western country to approve a coronavirus vaccine.

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