The British government announced that over 25.2 million people have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) confirmed Thursday that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19 far outweigh the risks, calling on people to continue to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
"The available evidence does not suggest that blood clots in veins (venous thromboembolism) are caused by the AstraZeneca vaccine," MHRA said after having a detailed review of report cases as well as data from hospital admissions and general practitioner records.
Regarding the five men who suffered from Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST), after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, the British health authorities said that a detailed review into these cases is ongoing.
"Our thorough and careful review, alongside the critical assessment of leading, independent scientists, shows that there is no evidence that that blood clots in veins are occurring more than would be expected in the absence of vaccination, for either vaccine," said the MHRA Director June Raine.
Analysis of relaxation of COVID-19 control in UK. Suggests that even if vaccine reduces transmission substantially and coverage assumed to be reasonably high among adults (95% in age 80+, 85% in 50–79, 75% in 18–49), could still have R>1 in the absence of other control measures. https://t.co/VJu1sTOglD pic.twitter.com/CfdHGICxEu— Adam Kucharski (@AdamJKucharski) March 19, 2021
The MHRA's advice remains that the benefits of the vaccines against COVID-19 continue to outweigh any risks and that the public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also announced on Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine is "safe and effective" to use following an investigation into reports of blood clots in a small number of recipients.
"Our scientific position is that this vaccine is a safe and effective option to protect citizens against COVID-19," the EMA Director Emer Cooke said, adding that the vaccine is not linked to an "overall risk" of blood clots.
The British Health Department announced that over 25.2 million people have now had their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine and almost 50 percent of all British adults have received a jab.