AstraZeneca vaccine: UK regulator to give update on blood clot probe

Kate Devlin
Whitehall Editor
Wednesday 07 April 2021 13:07 BST
Biden warns of complacency as Covid vaccine rollout continues

The UK’s medicines regulator will outline the findings of its investigation into fears the Oxford/ AstraZeneca vaccine is linked to blood clots later today.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has been looking into a potential association between rare blood clots in adults and the jab.

The European regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is also expected to hold a similar briefing to explain the findings of its own separate probe.

The UK press conference, to begin at 3pm, will be led by the MHRA and the government’s advisers on the use of vaccines, the JCVI.

Yesterday Oxford paused a trial of its coronavirus vaccine in children as the regulators continued their investigation.

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The university made clear no problems had arisen within the trial itself.

A spokesperson said in a statement: "Whilst there are no safety concerns in the paediatric clinical trial, we await additional information from the MHRA on its review of rare cases of thrombosis/thrombocytopaenia that have been reported in adults, before giving any further vaccinations in the trial.

"Parents and children should continue to attend all scheduled visits and can contact the trial sites if they have any questions."

Yesterday a senior EMA official said he believed that there was a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a number of extremely rare blood clots reported in those who recently received the jab.

In an interview with Italy’sIl Messaggero newspaper, Marco Cavaleri, the head of vaccines strategy at the EMA, said it was “clear there is a link with the vaccine” but added that there was still uncertainty about what exactly was causing such a reaction.

Mr Cavaleri said that his agency had seen among younger vaccinated people a higher than expected number of cases of cerebral thrombosis – or blood clotting in the brain – compared with the general population.

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