AstraZeneca vaccine: SAGE member crushes clot warning with brilliant statistical review

AstraZeneca: SAGE's Calum Semple discusses risk of blood clots

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Prof Calum Semple told Channel 4 News cases blood clots from the AstraZeneca vaccine are “a rare one”. He added how the specific type of blood clot counts for “about 1 percent of strokes”. Prof Semple ensured concerned viewers that “far more people” die of straightforward strokes and explained that in fact “one way of getting clots” is to catch Covid itself. Dispelling concerns of blood clots, he urged those who have been called to get jabbed to do so as the risk of covid outweighed the small risks of the jab.

Channel 4 news anchor Jon Snow asked the physician how many people die of blood clots normally.

In response, Prof Semple said: “I don’t have that figure at my fingertips.

“But far more people than that die of straight forward strokes.”

He added how this “kind of stroke” caused by the vaccine is “a rare one” and it only counts for “about 1 percent of strokes”.

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The academic also added context to the data of the blood clots adding: “Some people catch Covid around the time of vaccination and this makes it incredibly difficult to tease apart causation and association (of the blood clots.)

He added how “one way of getting clots is to catch Covid.”

But Prof Semple went further to put people at ease adding “If you have been called for the vaccine then you’re in an age group that’s very likely to benefit from the vaccine.

“If you’ve been called for the vaccine, I would urge you to take the vaccine.”

AstraZeneca: Expert discusses 'risk' of COVID-19 jab

The encouraging comments from the professor come as UK clinical testers paused the AstraZeneca children’s trials after an official from the EMA said there might be a link to rare blood clots.

Officials in the UK said they were waiting for more information about the risk of blood clots which is expected to come next week.

The trials have been conducted on children between six and 17 years of age started in February

They are being conducted to assess whether the jab produces a strong immune response amongst youngsters.


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Speaking to Newsnight on Tuesday, Prof Melinda Mills from the University of Oxford said that while “transparency is important”, individuals “have difficulty in understanding their level of risk”.

She added: “Individuals have difficulties in understanding risks and perceptions and seeing this in relation to other sorts of illnesses or diseases or outcomes.

“When they’re hearing about 30 cases out of however many million vaccinated, it’s very difficult for people to understand if that’s a high or low risk.”

Prof Mills also commented on how the news has reported on the negative aspects of the AstraZeneca vaccine but stressed how “it’s also about how it’s presented as well.”

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