GPs across Tees Valley are reassuring people that it remains safe to have the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine following advice from the UK medicines regulator and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Dr Janet Walker, medical director, Tees Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), backed the findings of Dr Phil Bryan, vaccine, safety lead at the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the organisation responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are safe and effective, after he confirmed that there was no reason for concern.
“The MHRA has advised that there is no evidence to suggest that the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab is linked to blood clots,” said Dr Walker.
“It has clarified that blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon. More than 11 million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca have been administered across the UK and the number of blood clots reported, after having the vaccine, is not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.
“Of course we understand that these reports have been extremely worrying for people but it remains vitally important that we continue with the vaccination campaign and that people attend for their jab when invited to ensure that we carry on saving as many lives as possible.”
The World Health Organisation has also given its backing to the AstraZeneca vaccine stating there is no link between the jab and the increased risk of developing a clot.
The NHS has already has vaccinated over one million people across the North East and North Cumbria, including those aged over 80, nine out of ten older care home residents, large numbers of front line health staff, people aged over 65 as well as adults with long term health conditions.
Penny Spring, director of public health, Darlington Borough Council, said: “It is understandable that the recent controversy around the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has caused some concern.
“However, people who were worried about the vaccine can rest assured that there is no evidence of the jab causing blood clots.
“If you have already had your first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, it is essential that you get your second dose when it is offered to you.
“It is only by having both doses that you can ensure the vaccine provides the best possible protection against Covid-19.”
Dr Amanda Riley, clinical director, Darlington Primary Care Network, added: “If people are still unsure as to whether to have their vaccine, their vaccinator will be able to talk it through with them and give them all the reassurance they need.
“Please keep your vaccine appointment.”