Lincolnshire’s health bosses advise it is still safe to have Oxford vaccine

The Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is safe and “saves lives”, Lincolnshire’s health bosses have said after several European countries stopped administering it over blood clot concerns.

Use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been paused in a number of European countries after a small number of blood clots were reported among people who had recently had the jab.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is investigating the reports, but says there is no evidence that the clots were linked to the vaccine.

The UK’s medical regulator also says the jab is safe to give to people.

Lincolnshire County Council’s assistant director for public health, Andy Fox, said the temporary European bans were “mind-boggling”.

“We have proof the vaccine saves lives, that is proven beyond all doubt scientifically. It’s safe and effective and is our way out of this,” he said.

“I would encourage everybody, everybody, no matter who they are, if they’re offered the vaccine jump at the chance and go and get vaccinated.”

He added there was “absolutely no evidence of any link with blood clots”.

“It doesn’t take more than a cursory look at the number of cases they are reporting…to see we’re talking about a handful of cases.

“I’m so clear that it is an incorrect decision of these other countries have made to stop the vaccination programme with this vaccine that is safe and effective and it could potentially cost lives, to stop vaccinating people.”

Image: Hannah McKay/PA Wire

The health secretary is also urging people in the UK to still have the vaccine “if you get the call, get the jab.”

Matt Hancock said: “We keep the effects of these vaccines under review all the time and we know that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is saving lives in the UK right now.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has said it will conduct a full scientific review of the jab, but said it “remains convinced” that the benefits of having it outweigh the risk.

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