Trial of AstraZeneca vaccine on children suspended over blood clot fears

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The trial of the AstraZeneca coronavirus jab on children and teenagers has been suspended due to concerns over blood clotting.

The University of Oxford, who helped develop the vaccine, confirmed that it has paused the trial for children and teenagers after "rare cases of thrombosis/thrombocytopaenia that have been reported in adults".

Researchers say they are awaiting further information about the side-effect for the jab which the prestigious university developed alongside drug company AstraZeneca.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is investigating a potential link between the jab and a rare form of blood clot.

A statement read: "Whilst there are no safety concerns in the paediatric clinical trial, we await additional information from the MHRA on its review of rare cases of thrombosis/thrombocytopaenia that have been reported in adults, before giving any further vaccinations in the trial.

"Parents and children should continue to attend all scheduled visits and can contact the trial sites if they have any questions."

Germany has stopped giving the AstraZeneca jab to people over the age of 60, while Canada has done likewise for everyone under 55.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has moved to reassure Britons and foreign governments that the vaccine is safe, asking people to trust the regulator.

More than 31.6 million people have received their first vaccine dose in the UK, with 5.4 million also receiving the second dose.

Mr Johnson, who himself has received the first dose of the vaccine, said: "On the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the best thing people should do is look at what the MHRA say, our independent regulator – that's why we have them, that's why they are independent.

"Their advice to people is to keep going out there, get your jab, get your second jab."

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi said earlier today that the MHRA looked "very closely" at reports of adverse reactions to the vaccines.

On Monday a UK Government spokesman said: "The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives in this country.

"As the UK’s independent regulator has said, when people are called forward, they should get the jab.

"Over 37 million jabs overall have already been administered and we are on track to offer jabs to all over 50s by 15 April and all adults by the end of July."

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