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17th Mar 2021

Matt Hancock insists AstraZeneca vaccine is safe after European suspensions

Simon Lloyd

Some European nations have suspended the use of the vaccine over concerns it may be linked to blood clotting

Matt Hancock has urged Brits to continue getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, insisting the jab is safe.

The Health Secretary was speaking after some European nations – including the Republic of Ireland – opted to temporarily suspend the use of the vaccine over its alleged side-effects.

Concerns over the vaccine’s links to causing blood clots have been cited as the reason for its suspension in several countries, though AstraZeneca HQ, the European Medical Agency (EMA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), have all since dismissed the suggestion that there is any evidence to support such a link.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Hancock told the nation: “The Oxford-AstraZeneca jab is safe. We know that over 10million people have had it in this country.

“That’s what the British regulator says but also the World Health Organisation and even the European regulator.

“Now we keep the effects of these vaccines under review all the time and we know the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is saving lives in the UK right now.

“So if you get the call, get the jab.”

His stance echoes the response from the EMA, who stated earlier that they are “of the view that the benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19, with its associated risk of hospitalisation and death, outweigh the risk of side effects.”

They added: “The number of thromboembolic events overall in vaccinated people seems not to be higher than that seen in the general population.”