PEOPLE who have recently had the AstraZeneca coronavirus jab should seek medical attention if they have "rare side effects" for more than four days after innoculation, experts have urged.
Regulators in the UK have now revealed that people under the age of 30 will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca coronavirus amid blood clots fears.
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Speaking at a press conference last night sxperts said "safety remains the number one priority" when it comes to giving out jabs and warned what Brits should look out for when it comes to side effects from the Covid-19 jab.
Side effects are common for most vaccines and medications and if you've had a jab it's likely that you will experience a numbness or aching feeling where the jab has been administed.
On April 7, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there are some side effects you need to get checked out if you experience them for more than four days after having your jab.
In light of fears surrounding blood clots, people aged 18-29 will be offered an alternative vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna after 19 deaths in the UK.
Of those deaths, three were people under the age of 30.
Out of the 79 cases reported in the UK, 51 women and 28 men suffered with clotting issues – all from the first dose.
Dr June Raine, Chief Executive for the MHRA, said the "risk remains extremely small" despite "evidence firming" up of links between jabs and blood clots.
Explaining what Brits need to look out for she said: "Anyone who has symptoms four days after vaccination or more should seek prompt help."
She said that the symptoms are "A persistent headache, vision blurring, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, abdominal pain and bruising
"This is extremely rare. And with the proven effectiveness to disease, the balance of benefits and known risks is still favourable for vast majority", she added.
Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, chairman of the Commission on Human Medicines also said that such side effects are incredibly rare.
Speaking during the conference he said that it was important to remember that the Covid-19 virus actually causes clotting.
He said the risk of developing a clot was "much higher" in people who had caught Covid-19 than those who would receive a vaccine for the virus.
Prof David Werring, Professor of Clinical Neurology, UCL Institute of Neurology, said more research still needs to be done to look into these specific reactions.
“We still urgently need more research to first understand which individuals are at highest risk of these unusual blood clots in the brain, which although very rare, can often be serious or fatal.
"Although most cases were in females under the age of 60, this varied across countries with different vaccination strategies so did not allow specific risk factors (such as age or gender) to be identified.
"Second, the specific blood test findings (low blood platelets, associated specific antibodies, and increased blood clotting) suggest that an immune reaction could be an important mechanism of post-vaccine thrombosis, but being sure about a definite causal link needs much more scientific work and confirmation."
He said vaccination programmes should continue but that people needed to be aware of the possible symptoms of thrombosis (especially in the brain).
He explained what each symptom – listed by Dr Raine would be like:
- Headache: a severe headache that is sudden or progressive
- Neurological issues: for example face, arm or leg weakness, disturbance of speech or vision, confusion, drowsiness or seizures
- Shortness of breath – this is when you are gasping or struggling to take in enough air
- Leg pain and swelling – where your leg looks puffy or red
Prof Werring added: "Specific treatments in hospital may improve the outcome from cerebral venous sinus thrombosis – but only if given soon enough – so it is crucial that people seek medical attention urgently if they experience these symptoms between 4 and 21 days after vaccination."
What are the different types of blood clots?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs.
The signs and symptoms of a DVT include:
- Swelling, usually in one leg (or arm)
- Leg pain or tenderness
- Reddish / blue skin discoloration
- Leg (or arm) warm to touch
The signs and symptoms of a Pulmonary embolism include:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; that may get worse with deep breaths
- A rapid heart rate
- Unexplained cough, sometimes with blood-streaked mucus
Another blood clotting condition is thrombocytopenia, which is when your blood platelet count is so low that the blood is not efficiently clotting when it needs to.
In rare cases, the number of platelets can be so low that dangerous internal bleeding occurs.
The signs and symptoms of thrombocytopenia include:
- Easy or excessive bruising (purpura)
- Superficial bleeding into the skin that appears as a rash of pinpoint-sized reddish-purple spots (petechiae), usually on the lower legs
- Prolonged bleeding from cuts
- Bleeding from your gums or nose
- Blood in urine or stools
- Unusually heavy menstrual flows
- Enlarged spleen
NORMAL SIDE EFFECTS
The side effects listed by Dr Raine are rare – and have only occurred in patients experiencing a blood clot.
When it comes to vaccines in general side effects can be mild.
The Vaccine Knowledge Group, in partnership with Oxford University says because vaccines work by triggering your immune system to produce a reaction.
This means that you can have side effects after you receive the vaccine that feel similar to having a real infection.
They state that the most common side effect associated with the Oxford jab is arm pain, with 67 per cent of patients experiencing this.
This is followed by chills, fever, joint pain, muscle aches, fatigue and headaches.
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