Reassurance to residents over AstraZeneca vaccine
Health chiefs have reassured residents and councillors on the safety and efficacy of the AztraZeneca vaccine.
Northumberland County Council’s Health and Wellbeing Committee discussed the ongoing vaccination programme in Northumberland as well as health guidance updates on AstraZeneca vaccine.
Research has indicted a potential link between the vaccine and the development of rare blood clots in younger adults.
However, according to the Medical and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) the risk is minimal and only “four people in a million” could potentially be affected.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation also stated: “the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk.”
The joint committee also claimed that to date the vaccine will have already saved 6,000 lives.
Despite the slight risk MHRA has not recommended an age limit for the AstraZeneca vaccine but recommends that alternative vaccines like pfizer or moderna should be offered to under 30s.
Concerns were raised in the committee regarding health and social care workers.
Catherine McEvoy-Carr, executive director of adult and childrens services, asked what mechanism were in place for health and social workers who may refuse the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Richard Hay, head of planning and operations at Northumbeland Clinical Commissioning Group, reiterated the national guidance that all those regardless of age who experienced no symptoms of blood clots after their first dose should get their second AstraZeneca vaccination.
Symptoms of blood clots include a new onset of severe or persistent headache, blurred vision, confusion or seizures; develop shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain; unusual skin bruising or pinpoint round spots beyond the injection site.