People should get their COVID-19 jab when invited, the British Prime Minister has said, amid concerns about potential side effects of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Boris Johnson said getting vaccinated was “the key thing” and the regulator’s advice was to keep giving the jab.
It comes after a European Medicines Agency official, speaking in a personal capacity, said there appeared to be a link with the jab and rare blood clots.
More than 31.6 million people in the UK have had a first vaccine dose.
Two vaccines – developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNtech – are being used in the UK, while A third – from Moderna – has been approved.
The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) safety committee has been reviewing very rare cases of unusual blood clots in people vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
It said that the committee had “not yet reached a conclusion and the review is currently ongoing”, but it is expected to announce findings today or tomorrow.
The UK regulator the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the benefits of the jab continue to outweigh any risk.
During a visit to the AstraZeneca manufacturing plant in Macclesfield, Cheshire, Mr Johnson defended its vaccine.
“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,” Mr Johnson, who has received the first dose of the vaccine himself, said.
“Their advice to people is to keep going out there, get your jab, get your second jab.”
The prime minister added: “The best thing of all is to vaccinate our population, get everybody out getting the jab, that’s the key thing and that’s what I would advocate, number one.