JCVI member calls for continued use of AstraZeneca jab despite 'rare' side effects

7 April 2021, 17:00

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

JCVI member Professor Robert Reed says the AstraZeneca vaccine should continue to be used despite 'extremely rare' side effects.

After the UK medicines regulator said the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh any risks but added that under-30s will be offered an alternative jab, Eddie Mair spoke to an expert.

Professor Robert Read, a member of the Joint Committee for Vaccines and Immunisation (JCVI) said "overall" the benefits outweigh the risk.

LIVE: 'Course correction' over extremely rare blood clot link to AstraZeneca jab

Some European countries have restricted the vaccine's use in younger people following reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), a specific type of clot that prevents blood from draining from the brain, as well as low platelet counts - cells that help blood clot.

The Professor told LBC he agrees with the European Medicines Agency.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European medicines watchdog ruled that unusual blood clots were "very rare side effects" of the jab.

Professor Read said he could not emphasise enough "just how rare" the blood clots were.

"Most people who get the AstraZeneca vaccine have no side effects."

Earlier today the former head of the MHRA told LBC that he has "no reservations" about the jab's safety.

Dr June Raine, head of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, told a press conference: "Based on the current evidence, the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca against Covid-19 and its associated risks - hospitalisation and death - continues to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.

"Our review has reinforced that the risk of this rare suspected side effect remains extremely small."

The MHRA said there were still huge benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19 and serious disease but added that due to a very small number of blood clots in younger people, those under the age of 30 will be offered Pfizer or Moderna jabs instead.

More Eddie Mair

Yvette Cooper: 'The vast majority of rape victims are being totally let down'

Yvette Cooper: 'The vast majority of rape victims are being totally let down'

Partygate: Eddie Mair challenges caller when he says PM apologised for breaking rules

Partygate: Eddie Mair challenges caller who says PM apologised for breaking rules

Partygate: Boris Johnson 'probably committed several offences', believes Emily Thornberry

Partygate: Boris Johnson 'probably committed several offences', believes Emily Thornberry

Sir Ed Davey: Tory MPs should 'push out' Boris Johnson if he won't himself go

Sir Ed Davey: Tory MPs should 'push out' Boris Johnson if he won't himself go

Caller's mother 'locked away' for 90th birthday – during PM's party

Caller's mother 'locked away' for 90th birthday – during PM's party

'Who will investigate allegations of blackmail at the heart of Westminister?'

'Who will investigate allegations of blackmail at the heart of Westminister?'

Caller tells LBC he was a Conservative 'up until Boris Johnson took over'

Caller tells LBC he was a Conservative 'up until Boris Johnson took over'

'Aimless, feckless, hopeless': Eddie Mair explores Boris Johnson's writing

'Aimless, feckless, hopeless': Eddie Mair explores Boris Johnson's writing career

Scottish Tory leader: Boris Johnson must resign if he broke Covid rules

Scottish Tory leader: Boris Johnson must resign if he broke Covid rules

Downing Street flat refurb saga looks 'very unhappy' for Boris Johnson, LBC hears

Downing Street flat refurb saga looks 'very unhappy' for Boris Johnson, LBC hears

NHS nurse: 'I used to go into work happy – not anymore'

NHS nurse: 'I used to go into work happy – not anymore'

Eddie Mair raises questions in response to Matt Hancock briefing

Best of 2021: Eddie Mair raises questions in response to Matt Hancock briefing

Best of 2021: 'If you get £300k lobbying, being an MP is the second job'

Best of 2021: 'If you get £200k lobbying, being an MP is the second job'

Christmas on fire: Tree seller says he'll likely 'burn' stock due to fall in shoppers

Christmas on fire: Tree seller says he'll likely 'burn' stock due to fall in shoppers

A caller told Eddie Mair Allegra Stratton has been "thrown under a bus"

Allegra Stratton 'thrown under bus' by 'spineless' Prime Minister, says LBC listener

Mark Drakeford: New mask rules in Welsh schools 'imminent'

Mark Drakeford: Mask mandates in Welsh schools 'imminent'