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How safe is the COVID-19 vaccine?

People should not put off getting their COVID-19 vaccine after some EU countries temporarily paused the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said given the large number of doses administered, and the frequency at which blood clots can occur naturally, the evidence available does not suggest the vaccine is the cause.

Vaccine safety is of paramount importance and the regulator continually monitors the safety of vaccines to ensure that the benefits outweigh any potential risks.

Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon.

More than 11 million doses of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK.

Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.

The safety of the public will always come first.

The MHRA is keeping this issue under close review but available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause.

People should still be encouraged to receive their COVID-19 vaccine when asked to do so.

The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the MHRA.

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The MHRA follows international standards of safety.

Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.

So far, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. No long-term complications have been reported.

To find out more about the vaccines approved in the UK, see:

The MHRA encourages anyone to report any suspicion or concern they have beyond the known, mild side effects on the Coronavirus Yellow Card site.


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