THERE is NO proof that the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine causes blood clots, the deputy chief medical officer has stated.
Professor Jonathan Van-Tam this evening encouraged Brits to continue to get their jab amid panic from the European Union.
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His comments come after 20 countries paused the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
France and Germany yesterday admitted their ban was political – as MPs accused them of sulking over Britain's more successful rollout.
New figures out today show the UK jabbed a total of 25,273,226 people between December 8 and March 16 with first doses, while 1,759,445 people have had their second dose.
Speaking at a Downing Street press conference this evening, Professor Van-Tam highlighted that there are side effects with most medictions.
Addressing the nation he read out a statement from the EMA (European Medicines Agency), which stated that the AstraZeneca jab is safe for use.
To get his point across, Prof Van-Tam read out all of the side effects which could occur from using paracetamol – which most people use without considering possible health issues that could arise.
Prof Van-Tam said that there has been "lots of work" going in to see whether there is a signal to clots caused by the AstraZeneca vaccines.
He said: "There is lots of evidence now that is reassuring that there is no excess signal or risk.
"There is no evidence of increased risk.
"And I expect, without prejudice to their absolute findings, those to be the final conclusions of the EMA and (Britain's) MHRA in due course."
What the UK does have, he said, is a lot of evidence that the vaccines are saving lives.
He added: "That's the really important thing, that we push on with this, and I think from the enthusiasm of the patients I've vaccinated, I see the enthusiasm of the British people to push on with this.
"Vaccines don’t save lives if they are in fridges – they only save lives if they are in arms."
His comments come after pictures from Germany today showed vaccination centres left empty after it suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Pictures of empty vaccination centres show the scale of the problem as millions of people across Europe continue to be left unprotected from the deadly virus.
Prof Van-Tam appeared alongside Health Secretary Matt Hancock who in an article for The Sun today urged people to keep getting the jab as there was no evidence it caused blood clots.
He wrote: "I want to reassure Sun readers — there is no evidence that vaccines caused these clots.
"Don’t just take my word for it — this is the view of the UK’s medicines regulator the MHRA, the European Medicines Agency, who reviewed the evidence just yesterday, the World Health Organisation and countless doctors and clinical experts who have made their views clear in these pages and elsewhere.
"Throughout our successful vaccine roll-out safety comes first, above all else, and the MHRA keeps careful watch to make sure the public are kept safe.
"Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon."
Prof Van-Tam also highlighted that it was important that the first phase of the vaccine rollout in the UK was completed properly before moving on to the next.
Prof Van-Tam said: "Phase one is where the patients are who suffer the mortality.
"A bit like a football game where the strikers who score the wonder goals are the ones who make the headlines, actually, the hard yards are done by the defenders and by the defensive midfielders tracking back, tracking back for 90 minutes of the whole game, watching everybody's back.
"And this is what it's going to be about now, tracking back and making sure that we finish the job properly in the phase one cohorts before we move on. That high uptake is really, really important."
Praising the mammoth vaccine effort, Prof Van-Tam thanked the NHS.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also today said: “This latest milestone is an incredible achievement – representing 25million reasons to be confident for the future as we cautiously reopen society.
“Thank you once again to the brilliant NHS, scientists, armed forces, volunteers, and all those who’ve helped our rollout.”
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