‘AstraZeneca jab is safe and effective’ – Boris Johnson backs vaccine after Italy, Norway and Denmark stop giving out the jabs amid blood clot fears 


Boris Johnson yesterday insisted the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab was safe after the EU launched a probe into reports of blood clots in vaccinated Europeans.

The European Medicines Agency said it had received reports of 22 cases of blood clotting among the three million vaccinated with the jab on the Continent – including one person who died ten days later.

A host of European countries including Denmark, Norway and Iceland have halted the use of AstraZeneca jabs amid fears they cause blood clots, while Italy has suspended a batch following the death of a naval officer and another man.

But No 10 yesterday insisted the jab is safe and that Britons should continue to take it, pointing to the success the vaccination programme is having.

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: ‘We’ve been clear that it’s both safe and effective, and when people are asked to come forward and take it, they should do so in confidence.’

‘And in fact you’re starting to see the results of the vaccine programme in terms of the (lower) number of cases we’re seeing across the country, the number of deaths, number of hospitalizations.’

The decision by some countries to halt the vaccine came after a nurse in Austria, 49, died from a clot on Monday shortly after receiving the vaccine amid reports of similar cases across Europe, despite millions of doses being administered safely.

Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg have also suspended the use of the same specific batch of vaccines given to the nurse, ABV5300, which was sent to 17 European countries and consisted of one million jabs.

Denmark, Norway and Iceland on Thursday went further, suspending the total use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine.