Another Covid vaccine has potentially been linked to very rare but severe blood clots (Picture: Getty)
A scientific advisor to the Government has urged people to continue getting vaccinated against Covid, despite another of the jabs being linked to ‘extraordinarily rare’ blood clots.
Four people who were given Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen vaccine – which is not yet being used in the UK – developed serious blood clots and one died, it was announced yesterday.
One of those who developed a clot was taking part in a clinical trial while three others received the jab as part of the vaccine rollout in the US.
Use of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was already restricted among the under 30s in the UK earlier this week.
Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of the Covid-19 clinical information network, said a direct link between vaccines and blood clots has not yet been established and, even if there is, the risk is roughly equivalent to driving 250 miles.
He told told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: ‘We still don’t know whether they are directly related and caused by the vaccine but it seems possible that they could be.
‘We still have to bear in mind just how rare these events are, and we’re doing something at massive scale in terms of rolling out these vaccines, and there are many vaccines around.
‘It wouldn’t be surprising to find the J & J, the Janssen vaccine, also causes rare blood clots, because it’s based on an adenovirus technology which is not that far away from the technology which is being used in the AstraZeneca vaccine.’
Use of the AstraZeneca vaccine has been restricted among young people in several countries (Picture: Eyevine)
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is continuing to investigate reports of the rare blood clots linked to the Janssen jab.
The UK Government has ordered 30 million doses to be used as and when it is given regulatory approval.
Earlier this week, the EMA announced that brain blood clots with low platelet count should be regarded as a rare side-effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
People aged 18-29 in the UK are being be offered alternatives to the vaccine, as experts try to establish whether there is a link between the jab and the ‘extremely rare’ blood clots.
Regulators insist the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks (Picture: Getty)
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the benefits still outweigh the risks overall, but while it has not concluded that the AstraZeneca vaccine causes rare brain clots, it said the link is getting firmer.
Figures suggest the risk of getting a rare blood clot is the equivalent to four people out of every million who receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Asked if he is concerned public confidence in jabs could be undermined, Prof Openshaw said: ‘These are extraordinarily rare events and there is no medicine that is going to be completely free of side-effects.
‘But this is on the scale of the risk of adverse outcome that you would expect if you were to get in the car and drive 250 miles, and many of us wouldn’t blink before taking that risk.
‘So I think it really is important to recognise just how rare these events are.’
The EMA is also looking at five reports of rare capillary leak syndrome in people who were vaccinated with AstraZeneca.
This syndrome causes leakage of fluid from blood vessels, causing tissue swelling and a drop in blood pressure.
Asked about the Janssen vaccine, the MHRA said it remains under review.
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