COVID-19: UK identifies 25 new blood-clot cases after AstraZeneca Vaccine shots

*The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says fresh reports lift UK total cases to 30 after vaccinations, though the regulator assures that benefits of vaccine continue to outweigh risks

*South Africa concludes sale of 1 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine doses, developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford to the African Union

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

While re-emphasising that the benefits of the COVID-19 Vaccine shots continue to outweigh the risks, the United Kingdom (UK) regulator, Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), has reported 25 new cases of rare blood clots, possibly linked to AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 Vaccine.

The UK health regulatory agency said that the numbers that had caused some European countries to adopt precautionary measures.

According to the regulator, in a statement Thursday, April 1, said that the fresh reports increased the total number of cases to 30 as of March 24, 2021, saying, though the benefits of the shots continue to outweigh the risks.

ConsumerConnect had reported that AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, developed with the University of Oxford, in the UK, is under mounting scrutiny and has faced dwindling support within the European Union (EU).

Yet, countries are counting on the shots to help them in exiting the damaging pandemic, just as millions of doses have been administered across the region and beyond.

The agency also noted that the 30 incidents were out of 18.1 million doses of AstraZeneca Vaccine administered by March 24.

Prior to that, the agency disclosed five cases March 18, out of 11 million shots.

Based on the fresh reports, therefore, the agency stressed that the rate of incidents with the AstraZeneca vaccine shots in the country is about 1 in 600,000.

There were no reports of the same reactions to the vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, which is also being used in Britain.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency further stated: “On the basis of this ongoing review, the benefits of the vaccines against Covid-19 continue to outweigh any risks and you should continue to get your vaccine when invited to do so.”

It added that the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines have shown “very high levels of protection” against COVID-19, saying, “all vaccines and medicines have some side effects.”

South Africa concludes sale of AstraZeneca Vaccine shots to African Union

Meanwhile, South Africa has concluded the sale of 1 million COVID-19 Vaccine doses that were developed by AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford to the African Union (AU) after they were found to have little impact on mild infections caused by a variant of the virus first identified in the country in 2020.

ConsumerConnect reports South African Health Minister Zweli Mkhize in a statement Friday, April 2, said that the vaccines were sold to 18 member states of the AU, including Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt and Zimbabwe, for immunisation against the disruptive COVID-19 in these countries.

Mkhize in the statement noted that the first batch of doses has been dispatched from South Africa, and will be distributed via the continental body.

On the other hand, the South African country has pivoted to using shots developed by Johnson & Johnson for its initial inoculations, with more than 380,000 healthcare workers having registered to receive them, reports Bloomberg.

In the fresh arrangement, the South African Government aims to vaccinate about two-thirds of the population of 60 million people to achieve herd immunity.

The first vaccines will be issued as part of a study, allowing normal regulatory approvals to be bypassed, according to report.

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