North East health chiefs unite in reassuring people Oxford AstraZeneca Covid vaccine is 'safe and effective'
The region’s Directors of Public Health have united to offer their reassurance to patients they consider the AstraZeneca vaccine to be safe and effective for use.
A statement has been issued today, Wednesday, March 17, and signed by 11 council health chiefs following concerns in Europe over blood clots, leading a number of countries to suspend its use – a move dismissed by Professor Jeremy Brown, from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), as “not sensible” and “not logical”.
The statement says: “There have been 37 reports of potentially serious blood clots out of the 17 million doses given to people across the EU - that's actually a lower number of incidents than you'd expect to see in the population.
"The UK regulator – the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency - the European Medicines Evaluation Agency – the European regulator for medicines and vaccines- and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have all said there is no indication that the vaccine causes blood clots and have recommended its continued use.
"With that in mind, it is difficult to understand why some EU countries have suspended its use.
"What people probably don't know is that there is evidence that if you get Covid-19, you're at higher risk of developing blood clots during infection, and those that do have an increased risk of dying.
"We want to reassure people that, on the basis of current evidence, we consider the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to be safe and effective.
"All adverse effects are closely monitored through the same tried and tested process we use for other medicines.
"While we understand people might be worried, this vaccine is the best way of protecting yourself and your family from this awful virus, and to help us all look forward to a brighter future.
“If you are offered vaccination in the coming days, we would strongly urge you to take it.”
It is signed by Mark Adams of South Tees; Craig Blundred of Hartlepool Council; Sarah Bowman-Abouna of Stockton-on-Tees Council; Wendy Burke of North Tyneside Council; Tom Hall of South Tyneside Council; Amanda Healy of Durham County Council; Eugene Milne of Newcastle City Council; Liz Morgan of Northumberland County Council; Penny Spring of Darlington Borough Council; Gerry Taylor of Sunderland City Council and Alice Wiseman, of Gateshead Council.