UK

Covid UK: Brits NOT fazed by European nations’ AstraZeneca vaccine scaremongering

Defiant Britons have today insisted they are not fazed by Europe’s ‘scaremongering’ against the AstraZeneca vaccine, as they backed the UK’s scientists as ‘the best in the world’.

Fourteen countries across the continent have now turned their backs on the Oxford University-researched jab in a knee-jerk reaction over unproven blood clot fears.

France, Italy, Germany and Spain are among the countries to have stopped using the vaccine, despite EU regulators insisting there was no proof the vaccine causes dangerous side-effects. 

And Britons backed the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab today, which has already been rolled-out problem-free to millions across the country.

Some who have already had the jab vouched for it, while others said they would be happy to take it as the UK’s scientists are the ‘best in the world’.  

David Sharp, 71, a retired chef from Hackney, who recently had the jab, said: ‘It went brilliantly. I had no concerns going into it whatsoever. 

‘I couldn’t care less where I got it from. You don’t get a choice. If they’ve done all their research, then that’s fine with me.’

James Danby, 58, a retired locksmith from Stratford, who had the jab today, said: ‘It went really well. I got here, I was early, and then it was done and dusted in 12 minutes.

‘I haven’t really paid much attention to the press around it. I think it’s all a bit scare-mongering too much to be honest. 

‘I think Europe is being a bit overly cautious. I trust our National Health Service and I think our scientists are the best in the world.’ 

Cydnie Jay, 25, a social worker from Bow

Lisa Lloyd, 47, a carer from Forest Gate and Cydnie Jay, 25, a social worker from Bow

Amanda Emin, 35, a customer support worker from Leytonstone, east London received the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab today. 

Ms Emin, who has fibromyalgia, said she was nervous about getting the jab at first, but has since been convinced.

She said: ‘A few months ago I was really apprehensive about the vaccine. It was rolled out so soon.

‘I didn’t know in five or 10 years time what the repercussions could be. 

‘Several of my friends and my friends’ parents have been getting it, and I just thought what are the chances?

‘The chances of probably getting hit by a bus in the street are probably higher.’ 

Sophie Blakeman, a 19-year-old fashion student from Leeds, will happily take the vaccine if it means life can go back to normal.

She said: ‘I’m not that bothered about getting the vaccine.

‘The only reason I’d get it is so that I can go to festivals or on holiday this summer.

‘If we need to be vaccinated in order to do those things then I’ll be really keen to get it.’  

Cydnie Jay, 25, a social worker from Bow, said: ‘I got the Oxford-AstraZeneca which I know has got a lot of bad press at the moment, but I think it’s absolutely fine. 

‘I think I’m quite relaxed about it. Vaccines keep everyone safe. I think the percentage of anything going wrong with it is so small it won’t be a problem.  

‘It’s something like a few dozen out of the millions that have had it. Obviously it’s not great if you’re someone that has had a problem, but the sad thing is that a lot of people also had underlying issues.’ 

Lisa Lloyd, 47, a carer from Forest Gate, also had the jab and said: ‘I feel so relieved that I have it now. I’m now impatient for life to get started again. 

‘I think it’s great that people get some positive news about the vaccines. I think there’s been a lot of negative reporting, so it’s good that there’s a balance. 

‘Anyone who doesn’t get one – it’s selfishness in my view. They just want to wait until they don’t need to get one because of herd immunity. 

Rachel Smith, 41, from Ilford, who works in a charity shop, had her Pfizer vaccine on March 3 and is awaiting the date for a second jab

Rachel Smith, 41, from Ilford, who works in a charity shop, had her Pfizer vaccine on March 3 and is awaiting the date for a second jab

Joey Jacobs, 33, TfL worker from Chingford, said he has yet to get the vaccine but hopes to be picked for a volunteer vaccination trial with St John's Ambulance

Joey Jacobs, 33, TfL worker from Chingford, said he has yet to get the vaccine but hopes to be picked for a volunteer vaccination trial with St John’s Ambulance

Molly Young, 23, a care worker from Stratford, also had the jab and said she felt lucky to have had the chance

Molly Young, 23, a care worker from Stratford, also had the jab and said she felt lucky to have had the chance

‘We were the guinea pigs, if you like. But it’ll be fine. You won’t grow an extra arm, it’s fine.’

Rachel Smith, 41, from Ilford, who works in a charity shop, had her Pfizer vaccine on March 3 and is awaiting the date for a second jab. 

She said: ‘You don’t get a choice when it comes to the vaccine. I suppose I’m happy that it was the Pfizer one compared to anything else, but I don’t think it matters. 

‘I think there’s a lot of unnecessary worrying about vaccinations. You shouldn’t mind which one, as long as it works.’ 

Molly Young, 23, a care worker from Stratford, said: ‘It went fine. I’m really really happy that I’ve got it now and can hopefully go to America soon. 

‘I’m half-American, and I couldn’t see my family that live in upstate New York just an hour out from Buffalo. I was really happy to get any vaccine I was offered. 

‘I know there are some medications, like contraceptives, that cause blood clots also far more than any jab, so you have to think about the chances. It’s very small. 

Edward Palmer, 29, from Birmingham city centre and a trainee physicist, worries the ban on AstraZeneca in some European countries will fuel anti-vax conspiracies

Edward Palmer, 29, from Birmingham city centre and a trainee physicist, worries the ban on AstraZeneca in some European countries will fuel anti-vax conspiracies

Bethany Crane, 24, from Coventry, who works in travel insurance, said she just wants to 'get back to normal'

Bethany Crane, 24, from Coventry, who works in travel insurance, said she just wants to ‘get back to normal’

Natalie Roberts, 39, who works for the HR department at Birmingham City Council, said she felt confident in having the vaccine despite the European bans

Natalie Roberts, 39, who works for the HR department at Birmingham City Council, said she felt confident in having the vaccine despite the European bans

Hayley Hoffman, 29, originally from North Carolina, USA, now living in Birmingham city centre and a Christian charity worker, admitted being unsure about taking the vaccine

Hayley Hoffman, 29, originally from North Carolina, USA, now living in Birmingham city centre and a Christian charity worker, admitted being unsure about taking the vaccine

‘I think you’ve got to count yourself lucky that you’re able to get a vaccine.’ 

Joey Jacobs, 33, TfL worker from Chingford, said he has yet to get the vaccine but hopes to be picked for a volunteer vaccination trial with St John’s Ambulance. 

He said: ‘It’s for the national cause. It’s an incentive for herd immunity. 

‘Everyone needs to play a part to get out of lockdown. We need to get back to some sort of normality and get back to a daily routine. ‘

Obviously people have their reservations. A lot of people on the internet and social media about having a chip in their arm or altering their DNA, and that’s obviously not true. People have been watching too many sci-fi movies. 

‘I’ve been looking at the flu jab and more people have had adverse reactions with that than the Covid jab. 

‘I think people need to be aware of that. A vaccine is never 100 percent safe. 

‘Possibly if it does cause blood clots, it’s an issue they need to look at. But we’re looking at the very few compared to the millions who have had the vaccine. I think it’s a personal decision.’ 

Their comments come amid a growing row over the jab with accusations of political motivations behind the Europe bans.   

Leaders on the continent were accused of risking lives with the ‘reckless’ decisions to stop the flow of vaccines, with scientists warning Covid is 100,000 times more dangerous, compared to the tiny possibility of an issue with clotting. 

Chief of Italy’s medicines regulator, Nicola Magrini, today claimed the sweeping bans across Europe were part of a politically driven snowball effect which had seen countries within the bloc come under pressure to follow suit. 

University of Bristol students Padraig Lawler and Rhodri Davis, both 19, said that they would not be put off having the Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

Rob Burn, 66, a busker in Bristol city centre, had his first dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine last month and slammed criticism of the jab

Rob Burn, 66, a busker in Bristol city centre, had his first dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine last month and slammed criticism of the jab

Paul Lovell, 56, a retired Rolls Royce engineer from Bristol, believes Brexit is to blame for the current row

Paul Lovell, 56, a retired Rolls Royce engineer from Bristol, believes Brexit is to blame for the current row

Stay-at-home mother Gill Kaur, 34, also from Bristol, described the stories as 'scaremongering'

Stay-at-home mother Gill Kaur, 34, also from Bristol, described the stories as ‘scaremongering’

Padraig said: ‘From what I’ve read, it sort of seems like it’s not really a problem, and it’s more of a precautionary thing from the countries that have banned it.

‘It wouldn’t sway my decision to have the vaccine – I’m still going to take it.

‘By the time I get offered it I would hope that they would have sorted this issue out anyway.

‘I trust that it has been tested enough.’

And Rhodri added: ‘I think blood clots are probably more dangerous than Covid – but surely those 40 people who suffered from blood clots would have been more prone to that anyway.

‘I think I read that there is no real evidence to support a link between the vaccine and blood clots – so I’m not sure why they would ban the vaccine.

‘I will still have it when the time comes.’ 

Britons who have had the jab hit out at European leaders amid the political machinations. 

Edward Palmer, 29, from Birmingham city centre and a trainee physicist, said: ‘I feel like a lot of the evidence is quite misleading.

‘I’m quite nervous about the narrative because I think it’s going to feed into the general anti vaccination feelings which are generally wrong and harmful.

‘But it’s the fact that it hasn’t been done just by some small groups and individuals. It’s a number of nations that have come out and voiced their concerns about it.

‘Having looked at the kind of data myself I wouldn’t have any concerns about having it. 

Muriel Tattersall, 75, from Bristol, admitted she was a little more hesitant about having her Astra-Zeneca vaccine amid the row

Muriel Tattersall, 75, from Bristol, admitted she was a little more hesitant about having her Astra-Zeneca vaccine amid the row

Physiotherapist Sara Garcia, 31, admitted to being worried by news of the vaccine ban

Physiotherapist Sara Garcia, 31, admitted to being worried by news of the vaccine ban

University of Bristol students Padraig Lawler and Rhodri Davis, both 19, said that they would not be put off having the Astra-Zeneca vaccine

University of Bristol students Padraig Lawler and Rhodri Davis, both 19, said that they would not be put off having the Astra-Zeneca vaccine

Emily Bradley, a 19-year-old fashion student from Leeds, said she was worried by the blood clots reports

Emily Bradley, a 19-year-old fashion student from Leeds, said she was worried by the blood clots reports

‘I think for them to be politically scaremongering would be a very unusual thing for them to do and I’m slightly confused by it.’ 

Rob Burn, 66, a busker in Bristol city centre, had his first dose of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine last month.

He said: ‘It’s all a load of rubbish. It’s a lot of fuss over nothing, and the Italians and Germans are just being ultra-cautious.

‘There’s been 40 reports of blood clotting in about 17 million people vaccinated.

‘I read somewhere that before the vaccine there were actually more blood clots per 1,000 people than there are now.

‘Even the countries that have banned it are saying it’s just a precautionary measure – but there is such a thing as being too cautious. You’d end up never leaving the house.

‘No medical person in the UK has suggested we need to be worried about anything.

‘It’s just like with a lot of these things – there is some slight bit of exaggeration, and people just jump on it.’

Carol Carter, 46, a self-employed IT consultant from Bristol, is not worried by the row

Carol Carter, 46, a self-employed IT consultant from Bristol, is not worried by the row

Tony Lavalle, 57, who is currently unemployed, believes Europe is playing political games

Tony Lavalle, 57, who is currently unemployed, believes Europe is playing political games

Rob added: ‘I felt fine after my first dose. I was a bit tired for a couple of days, but I was told that would be normal.

‘I’m happy I had it, and I’ve got my second one booked in for May.’

Carol Carter, 46, a self-employed IT consultant from Bristol, said: ‘Personally I’m not worried about it.

‘I think with any scientific advancement there’s going to be things we don’t know about.

‘And yes, this has been rolled out quickly, but I think looking at the odds, having the vaccine will be better for most people. 

‘I think the countries that have suspended the vaccine are probably making a political statement, what with the timing of it and us now having left the EU. I think it’s quite sad, really.

‘I would still have Astra-Zeneca if that was the one offered to me.’

Natalie Roberts, 39, who works for the HR department at Birmingham City Council, from Smiths wood, Birmingham said: ‘I’ve just had the AstraZeneca in the centre and I feel so pleased to have had it.

‘It’s a long time coming and I feel like now it’s a pathway to normality for me. I did look at the news this morning and everything that was coming out of the EU countries about their fears for this vaccine.

Ashley Woodhouse, an unemployed 35-year-old, from Leeds, was not going to get the vaccine prior to the news about the blood clots and has had his belief confirmed even more

Ashley Woodhouse, an unemployed 35-year-old, from Leeds, was not going to get the vaccine prior to the news about the blood clots and has had his belief confirmed even more

Sophie Blakeman, a 19-year-old fashion student from Leeds, will happily take the vaccine if it means life can go back to normal

Sophie Blakeman, a 19-year-old fashion student from Leeds, will happily take the vaccine if it means life can go back to normal

Thelma Robinson, 76, from Bradford, is a big supporter of vaccinations and is pleased she had hers earlier in the year. Her husband Alec was also 'very happy' with the jab

Thelma Robinson, 76, from Bradford, is a big supporter of vaccinations and is pleased she had hers earlier in the year. Her husband Alec was also ‘very happy’ with the jab

‘But I did look at the blood clotting issue and I found that apparently it was only 40 people out of like five million so it’s not a worry to me.

‘That could have happened anyway, you just can’t link it at the moment and it’s such a small percentage – I’m just not worried about it at the minute. I just went ahead and had it.

‘Most of my family have had the vaccine as they all work for the NHS and in care homes. We’re just all quite positive about it and not going to let it stop us from having it and hopefully getting back to normality and normal life.

‘I feel perfectly confident with having that specific vaccine.’ 

Bethany Crane, 24, from Coventry, who works in travel insurance, said: ‘I’ve just come from having the Oxford vaccine and it was completely fine I didn’t even notice that she did it to be honest.

‘I know bits of what is being said, maybe not as much as I should do, but going in today and having the vaccine for me personally was quite comfortable.

‘I got my text yesterday and just thought I’d book it straight away, I didn’t really research it.

‘Basically I just want to get back to some kind of normality and we would need the vaccination to do so in the future.

‘So it’s much easier to just get it out of the way now than wait any longer.

‘I’m perfectly happy to have had it but I will definitely have a bit more of a read into it.

Daniel Hazelgrave, a 43-year-old pub landlord from Leeds, is not in a rush to get a vaccine after seeing the recent news surrounding them

Daniel Hazelgrave, a 43-year-old pub landlord from Leeds, is not in a rush to get a vaccine after seeing the recent news surrounding them

Kat Blazeka, 22, from Leeds, admitted she is concerned about getting the Oxford vaccine but still intends to get it

Kat Blazeka, 22, from Leeds, admitted she is concerned about getting the Oxford vaccine but still intends to get it

Linda Sweeney, a 60-year-old gran-of-nine from Leeds, admitted the news of the potential blood clots has made her worried about receiving the Oxford vaccine

Linda Sweeney, a 60-year-old gran-of-nine from Leeds, admitted the news of the potential blood clots has made her worried about receiving the Oxford vaccine

‘But I have to take medication and I have side effects from that, so I just thought what’s the difference really, you get effects from vaccines like the flu jab.

‘If I do get any side effects from this then so be it. You get side effects from most things so I’m too bothered about it, I’m just hoping to get back to a bit of normality.’

Paul Lovell, 56, a retired Rolls Royce engineer from Bristol, said: ‘It was fine, it was just like a normal injection.

‘I did see on the news this morning about the issues with Astra-Zeneca, but I just think it’s a lot of fuss over nothing.

Should anyone in Britain who’s had the AstraZeneca vaccine be concerned?

The UK has used more doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine than anywhere else – approximately 11million – and both officials and scientists say there is no sign that it causes serious health problems.

Side effects are normal, and around 53,000 changes in health or feelings have been officially reported across the UK so far, but the vast majority are mild and short-lived, such as headaches, muscle pains or fever.

The 53,000 side effects out of 11million suggest just 0.5 per cent of people get them – one in 200. The frequency of severe side effects is much lower. But not everyone records their mild side effects and not all of those reported are linked to the vaccine, many just happen by coincidence after someone has received the jab.

British drugs regulator the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which approved the vaccine, insists the jab is safe and says people should continue to take it.

Vaccine safety chief Dr Phil Bryan 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 vaccine when asked to do so.’

The same message is being put out by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises the Government on its vaccine rollout.

Its deputy chairman Professor Anthony Harnden said on BBC Breakfast: ‘Safety is absolutely paramount and we monitor this data very carefully.

‘We have to remember that there are 3,000 blood clots a month on average in the general population and because we’re immunising so many people, we are bound to see blood clots at the same time as the vaccination, and that’s not because they are due to the vaccination. That’s because they occur naturally in the population.

‘One ought to also remember that Covid causes blood clots. So, the risks of not having the Covid vaccination far outweigh the risks from the vaccinations.’

‘When you look at the percentages of those that have been affected, it’s nothing really. Having the vaccine is definitely worth the gamble.

‘The timing of it just makes it feel like a political thing – with the Astra-Zeneca being a British vaccination, and we’ve now come out of the EU.

‘I don’t know their reasoning for it, but it didn’t worry me. I feel fine about it, and I’ll be back here in June for my second dose.’

Stay-at-home mother Gill Kaur, 34, also from Bristol, said: ‘It was fine, it was very easy.

‘I think all this stuff about EU countries suspending the vaccine is all just stories. It’s just scaremongering.

‘I just think it’s Europe making a big fuss. You can get side effects from anything, but you can’t let that stop you.’

Gill is booked in for her second dose of the vaccine on June 7. 

Tony Lavalle, 57, who is currently unemployed, added: ‘It was very quick and efficient.

‘I did see the news about it this morning but it didn’t put me off or worry me.

‘I don’t know what to make of it, really. From what I’ve heard, the Pfizer jab is about the same in terms of possible side effects, so it seems odd.

‘Perhaps it’s the EU taking a political stance. I think it’s all just scaremongering and the effect of social media.

‘But I’m not worried, and I have my second one booked in for June 3.’

Thelma Robinson, 76, from Bradford, is a big supporter of vaccinations and is pleased she had hers earlier in the year.

She said: ‘I’m not sure which one I had but my jab was done back in January.

‘It went really well, the people were lovely and I didn’t suffer any symptoms afterwards at all. I was absolutely fine.’

She added: ‘I’m concerned to see this news about blood clots, that’s terrible. I hope everyone is okay.

‘I can’t say it changes my view on vaccinations, which I’m definitely a supporter of.

‘I’ll be getting my second next month despite the news. I think it’ll be okay.’

Her husband Alec, 90, added: ‘I was really pleased with my vaccine, it went really well.

‘That’s why I’m not worried about getting my second, I’ll take it at the earliest opportunity.

‘Once we’ve all been vaccinated, life can go back to normal, and that’s what we all want.’ 

Leaders on the continent were accused of risking lives with the ‘reckless’ decisions to stop the flow of vaccines, with scientists warning Covid is 100,000 times more dangerous, compared to the tiny possibility of an issue with clotting. 

And data from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) regulator in the UK show more people have reported blood clots after having Pfizer’s vaccine than the Oxford one — even though Pfizer’s jab has not been suspended anywhere.

Up to February 28 there were 38 reports from approximately 11.5million doses of Pfizer’s jab, compared to 30 from 9.7m AstraZeneca doses. However, neither figure – the equivalent of one blood clot seen in every 367,000 jabs – is thought to be higher than the risk expected in the general population. 

Breaking the silence on the decision to suspend use of the jab, Germany’s Paul Ehrlich Institute said the condition is ‘so serious that it is not justifiable to continue vaccinating without testing’. UK’s drug regulators appear to have spotted the condition five times in 11million doses — but have yet to comment on Germany’s figures.

The row seems to have left some Britons uncertain about getting the jab.  

Hayley Hoffman, 29, originally from North Carolina, USA, now living in Birmingham city centre and a Christian charity worker said: ‘I haven’t currently had the vaccine.

‘I’m not 100 per cent sure if I would have the vaccine. I wouldn’t say no to it but I would definitely have to think about it and which one.

‘I’m not too concerned about the whole EU issue and some of the European countries refusing to give the Oxford vaccine.

‘If I have hesitations it’s not because of that, they are just hesitations that everybody has because it’s a quick vaccine.

Regulatory reports show that blood clot diagnoses are about equally likely after either the two jabs being used in the UK – slightly higher for Pfizer – and scientists insist the risk is no higher than a random person in the population could expect, meaning the vaccine remains safe. Rates of death soon after vaccination appear higher for AstraZeneca's vaccine but this is likely because it is used in care homes and the people receiving it are naturally more likely to die of any reason

Regulatory reports show that blood clot diagnoses are about equally likely after either the two jabs being used in the UK – slightly higher for Pfizer – and scientists insist the risk is no higher than a random person in the population could expect, meaning the vaccine remains safe. Rates of death soon after vaccination appear higher for AstraZeneca’s vaccine but this is likely because it is used in care homes and the people receiving it are naturally more likely to die of any reason

‘This is just my perception but I feel that young people are less likely to be swayed by hearing that sort of news and what they’re saying.

‘I think it’s important for people to do research so they can and learn about things. But I don’t think that that stops a lot of young people.

‘If I had to guess I would say that a lot of us would still take it and it wouldn’t matter what’s in the news, if there’s little evidence to support it then there’s no real reason not to protect ourselves.’

Muriel Tattersall, 75, from Bristol, admitted she was a little more hesitant about having her Astra-Zeneca vaccine.

‘There is NO indication AstraZeneca jab caused blood clots’ EU drug regulator insists in bid to restart vaccinations

EU regulators today shot down the blood clot fears which have prompted 14 European countries to call a halt to AstraZeneca jabs, saying there is no evidence the vaccine causes dangerous side-effects.

The European Medicines Agency said it was ‘firmly convinced’ that injections with the AstraZeneca shot should continue, joining the WHO and the UK government in a full-throated defence of the vaccine amid fury at EU nations including France and Germany for suspending the jabs.

EMA safety experts say a ‘very small number of people’ have come down with blood disorders but there is ‘no indication’ that these were caused by the jab, which 11million people have already had in the UK.

‘We are still firmly convinced that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine in preventing Covid-19 with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death outweigh the risk of these side effects,’ said EMA chief Emer Cooke.

Countries including France will now face pressure to resume AstraZeneca jabs after the EMA delivered its verdict and reiterated that the number of blood clots ‘seems not to be higher than that seen in the general population’.

Italy earlier admitted that its suspension of AstraZeneca jabs was a ‘political’ move while French doctors accused Emmanuel Macron of ‘giving in to panic’ and a German lawmaker said the ban could cause a ‘catastrophe’.

Germany sought to justify its move by saying that one particular kind of blood clot, a ‘sinus vein thrombosis’, had occurred seven times among the 1.6million people vaccinated when only around one case would be expected. By contrast, only four such cases have been identified in the UK out of 11million doses administered.

Nicola Magrini, the head of Italian medicines regulator AIFA, said politicians had come under pressure to call off the jabs after Germany and France made similar moves in what one Tory MP described as a ‘Brexit sulk’.

‘We got to the point of a suspension because several European countries, including Germany and France, preferred to interrupt vaccinations… to put them on hold in order to carry out checks. The choice is a political one,’ Magrini said in an interview with La Repubblica.

She said: ‘I had my first dose on February 15 – but I initially wasn’t going to take it up when I first got the letter.

‘It took me quite a while to actually book it – I was hesitant at first.

‘I have been a bit bothered by what I’ve seen on the news about it. I don’t particularly want to go back and have my second dose.

‘I think if there is any measure of hesitation over the safety of it, then maybe it’s just as well to suspend it. These vaccines are quite new and have been done quite quickly.

‘I didn’t have any side effects from my first dose, apart from a bit of stiffness in my joints.

‘I don’t have a date for my second dose yet, and I don’t know whether I will book it. But I suppose since I have had the first then I might as well and I’ll be fine.’

Ashley Woodhouse, an unemployed 35-year-old, from Leeds, was not going to get the vaccine prior to the news about the blood clots and has had his belief confirmed even more.

He said: ‘Hearing about people suffering from blood clots after getting their vaccines makes me not want to get one even more.

‘I didn’t want one anyway but this news just adds to that.

‘I suffer from MS and I’m worried about putting anything into my body which I don’t know the effects of.

‘I don’t think we know enough about the vaccinations to be offering them to anyone and everyone.

‘Maybe this blood clot thing will help people see that.

‘I don’t trust the jab and I won’t be getting it even if it’s offered.’

Emily Bradley, a 19-year-old fashion student from Leeds, said: ‘I saw the news about blood clots today and it’s a bit of a worry.

‘It seems like we have suffered so many setbacks and that this could be another one.

‘Hopefully it’s something that gets resolved soon.

‘Personally, I’d still take the jab. I’m young and healthy so I wouldn’t be too concerned about the effects on myself.’

Physiotherapist Sara Garcia, 31, said: ‘I think if there is any doubt over whether it is safe, then maybe they should take these precautions just in case.

‘I don’t really have the information on it – but I think these governments who have suspended it do have that information, and that they have the facts about whether it is safe or not.

‘There must be a reason why they have done what they have done.

‘If I was offered the Astra-Zeneca vaccine today, I think I would still take it – but it’s probably something I’ll just consider when the time arrives.’

Linda Sweeney, a 60-year-old gran-of-nine from Leeds, admitted the news of the potential blood clots has made her worried about receiving the Oxford vaccine.

She said: ‘I have my jab tomorrow and, after seeing the news about some people getting blood clots, I’m very worried about it.

‘I don’t know which jab I’m getting until I arrive at the surgery, so I’m quite concerned they’ll try and give me the Oxford one.

‘After hearing how some people have reacted I don’t really want it but what can I do? I won’t get a choice in the matter.

‘If it does turn out to be the Oxford one I think I’ll reluctantly take it.

‘I don’t feel very comfortable about it but what if I don’t take the vaccine then get Covid? That would be terrible.’

Figures from AstraZeneca and the European Medicines Agency show the number of blood clot-related conditions from 17million doses dished out in the UK and Europe up to March 13

Figures from AstraZeneca and the European Medicines Agency show the number of blood clot-related conditions from 17million doses dished out in the UK and Europe up to March 13

Europe is presiding over one of the world's slowest jabs roll-outs which has left people vulnerable to infection, while the UK has masterminded one of the world's fastest, with Covid cases and deaths now falling sharply

Europe is presiding over one of the world’s slowest jabs roll-outs which has left people vulnerable to infection, while the UK has masterminded one of the world’s fastest, with Covid cases and deaths now falling sharply

Daniel Hazelgrave, a 43-year-old pub landlord from Leeds, is not in a rush to get a vaccine after seeing the recent news surrounding them.

He said: ‘Having seen various things about the vaccines I only intend to take one if I have to.

‘If it’s not immediately available then I’m in no rush. I’m looking after myself and staying healthy, that’s good enough for me.’

He added: ‘I saw the news about the blood clots and, while it is a concern, I also think it’s understandable.

‘When that many people are being vaccinated there are bound to be a certain number who react badly.

‘I feel very sad for those people but I don’t think that alone would stop me getting a vaccine. It’s more of a personal choice.’

Kat Blazeka, 22, from Leeds, admitted she is concerned about getting the Oxford vaccine but still intends to get it.

She said: ‘I’m due to get the vaccine today and I’m not sure which one it will be yet so I’m a bit anxious.

‘The news today has left me feeling particularly apprehensive.

‘I’m young but I do have a weak immune system because I have asthma, so there is a real concern about after-effects.

‘Despite that, I still intend to get the jab today, even if it is the Oxford one.’ 

Reports of blood clot diagnoses after getting a vaccine are so rare in the UK that even death has been reported more often — and no fatalities have been proven to be caused by the jab either. 

Millions of the most vulnerable people, who are more likely to die on any given day, have been vaccinated against Covid, meaning fatality rates will be higher than in the general populations because the elderly will just die naturally.

People who received the AstraZeneca vaccine had higher rates of reported deaths than those who had Pfizer’s, but this is likely because it is used in care homes and among elderly people in the community, while Pfizer’s is used more in major vaccine hubs that generally healthier people travel to.


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