Hampshire residents reassured AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and urged not to miss jab

HAMPSHIRE residents have been encouraged to get their coronavirus vaccine after some countries halted the use of AstraZeneca vaccines amid blood clots fears.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 7:00 am

Simon Bryant, the director of public health at Hampshire County Council, said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is ‘safe’.It comes as some countries – including Ireland, France, Italy and Germany- have decided to temporarily suspend the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine over concerns about possible side effects.AstraZeneca said 17million people have received a dose of the vaccine and 37 cases of blood clots have been reported.

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Dr Bryant described the figure as ‘very small’ and confirmed that this suggests that people are as likely to get a clot if they do not have the vaccine than if they do.He added: ‘It is right we monitor those and understand those. The vaccine is a safe vaccine and we are really supporting that roll out and it is protecting people’s lives so I’d really encourage everyone if they are offered the vaccination to take that up and that will help protect them from the impact of Covid.

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Hampshire residents are being urged to continue to get their AstraZeneca vaccinations. Photo by ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP via Getty Images

‘It is some very very very small side effects which will be monitored and looked at but it is a safe vaccine.’He said the UK has ‘strong safety mechanisms’ for both approving the vaccination and looking at any side effects that may occur.Dr Bryant’s comments came during the meeting of the Local Outbreak Engagement Board where he said the number of coronavirus cases across Hampshire is declining.He told members that about 37 per cent of Hampshire’s population is now vaccinated, including 90 per cent of residents over 80 years old.Dr Bryant added: ‘The vaccination is having a huge positive impact on our population. Rates are declining, that really shows that the pandemic is under control.’

It comes as he told members that more than 61,000 coronavirus cases have been recorded across Hampshire since the start of the pandemic and 2,703 people have died.Responding to some countries’ decision to halt AstraZeneca vaccines, Dr Phil Bryan from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said: ‘We are closely reviewing reports but given the large number of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause. People should still go and get their Covid-19 vaccine when asked to do so.’

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