Published: Fri, March 19, 2021

Boris Johnson to receive 'safe and effective' AstraZeneca vaccine

Boris Johnson to receive 'safe and effective' AstraZeneca vaccine

The U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, today, is expected to get the first dose of AstraZeneca Plc (NASDAQ: AZN) / University of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine, as a reassurance that the shot is safe and effective, says CNBC.

Bulgaria suspended the vaccine's use on March 12 after reports in other European Union countries that some recipients of the vaccine developed blood clots. Given the extremely rare rate of occurrence of these events, the benefits of the AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, with the latest data suggesting an 80% reduction in hospitalisation and death from COVID disease, far outweigh any possible risks of the vaccine in the risk groups now targeted in the UK.

The EMA noted the vaccine may be associated with blood clots in some "very rare cases" as only a small number of cases were reported but said its benefits outweigh the risk of possible side effects.

Only 24 people remain in hospital being treated for COVID-19 in Taiwan.

The over-50s and the clinically vulnerable will still be offered a first dose by April 15, and second doses will be available to around 12 million people in April.

It said that it came to a "clear scientific conclusion" that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks. "We will continue to robustly monitor all the data we have on this extremely rare possible side effect", added Raine.

A health worker picks up a vial containing COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca at a public health center in Seoul
A health worker picks up a vial containing COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca at a public health center in Seoul

Bulgaria's online registration system for Covid-19 vaccine jabs was back in operation on March 19, the same day that the country resumed mass vaccination using the AstraZeneca-Oxford jab. "The thing that isn't safe is catching COVID which is why it's so important that we all get our jabs as soon as our turn comes", Johnson said at a news conference in Downing Street. "And as it happens, I'm getting mine".

"As it happens I'm getting mine tomorrow, and the centre where I'm getting jabbed is now using the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine ... and that is the one I'll be having". He denied that India was "withholding vaccines" from the United Kingdom following issues with supply of millions of doses from the country's Serum Institute. It is true that in the short term we are receiving fewer vaccines than we had planned for a week ago. He said the shift in schedule was down to a delay in a shipment from India's Serum Institute and the need to get a batch retested in the United Kingdom, after increased concern about certain supposed side effects from the AstraZeneca inoculation.

He confirmed the United Kingdom would have "fewer vaccines than we had planned" in a move that could mean the under-50s might have to wait until May to get a vaccination, despite doctors having planned to start on that group in April.

But Mr Dowden, in comments made to The Sun, said he wanted to use "Covid certification to make it more viable for (summer sporting) events to go ahead with less or no social distancing" and get "as close to normality as we can". He reiterated that the supply speed would not affect the timetable set for all adults to receive their anti-Covid jabs by end-July or for the lockdown to be eased in phases over the next few months.

He said there was "no change" to the plan despite a drop in vaccine supply.

In Wales, around one in 430 people are estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week to March 13 (down from one in 365), while the figure was one in 315 in Northern Ireland (similar to the week before) and around one in 275 in Scotland, up from one in 320. On Thursday, the United Kingdom recorded 6,303 new coronavirus cases and 95 deaths, taking its death toll from the deadly virus to 125,926.


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