Wakefield health chief 'really disappointed' by suspension of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe as people in West Yorkshire urged not to be put off

People in Wakefield are being encouraged not to be put off from having a Covid vaccination, after a number of European countries suspended use of one of the jabs.

Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 5:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th March 2021, 5:26 pm

Denmark, Germany and France are among the countries to have suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days, citing concerns that the jab may be linked to blood clots.

But West Yorkshire's health chiefs have dismissed this theory, as they urge people to continue having the jabs as recommended.

The county's five directors of public health, including Wakefield's Anna Hartley, said they were "really disappointed" by the decision of European leaders, which contradicts advice from the European Medicines Agency and World Health Organisation.

People in Wakefield are being encouraged not to be put off from having a Covid vaccination, after a number of European countries suspended use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.

They said that the number of reports of blood clots in people who had recently had the vaccine was lower than would be expected "just by chance" in such a high number of people.

In a joint statement, the directors said: "We are really disappointed that a number of countries have temporarily paused the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine against the advice of the World Health Organisation and the European Medicines Agency.

"There is no evidence that the vaccine can cause blood clots. There have been 37 reports of blood clots following over 17 million doses of the vaccine being given, which is actually fewer than you would expect to see just by chance in this number of people.

"As the UK regulator has said, the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is an excellent vaccine and is helping us to fight back against Covid-19.

"It is safe and effective and we would strongly urge people to have the vaccine when they are offered it. Getting vaccinated is our best hope for returning to normal life and protecting ourselves and our loved ones against this awful virus."

More than 125,000 people in Wakefield and the Five Towns have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination to date, and case rates have continued to fall in recent weeks.