Blood-clot risk “substantially higher” from COVID than from jabs

pharmafile | August 27, 2021 | News story | Medical Communications  

The risks of developing a blood clot are “substantially higher” after catching coronavirus than following a COVID vaccine, research shows.

Scientists looked at more than 29 million people aged 16 or older who had a first dose of either vaccine in England between December and April.

Their findings suggest the risk of thrombocytopenia, a condition where the patient has a low count of cells, known as platelets, that help the blood clot, in someone with coronavirus is almost nine times higher than in someone who has had one dose of the AstraZeneca jab.

These findings came a day after an inquest heard that an award-winning BBC radio presenter died due to complications of the AstraZeneca vaccination. Lisa Shaw died aged 44 in May, just over three weeks after she had her first dose.

University of Oxford professor Julia Hippisley-Cox said while such a death is “very sad”, any potential risks of the vaccine compared with Covid-19 infection must be put into context.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s very sad, and condolences to the family of Lisa.

“But to put it in context, these are very rare cases, and the vast majority of patients will be absolutely fine with these vaccines.”

Dr Mike Tildesley, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Modelling (Spi-M) which advises the Government, was not involved in the research. He said he hoped the new study involving millions of people, “maintains the trust in the vaccines going forward”.

He said: “There are always going to be the tragic cases like Lisa unfortunately, but it still doesn’t mean that actually the risks of taking the vaccine are high, it is still so much more risky to catch COVID and develop a blood clot via that route.”

Professor Hippisley-Cox, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology and General Practice at the University of Oxford said: “There’s always some unanticipated effects with any medicine and I think that this study design is the most robust way of looking at detecting these events and putting them in some context.”

Lilly Subbotin

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