AstraZeneca: Sister of blood clot victim urges UK to get jabbed
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Jayne Adye, director of grassroots pro-Brexit campaign group Get Britain Out, says the Government needs to be ready to retaliate against any attempt to curb vaccine exports to Britain with a ban on components going in the opposite direction. With the proportion of EU citizens having had at least one jab continuing to lag far behind that of the UK, Brussels last month imposed restrictions on exports of AstraZeneca’s vaccine to third countries, including the UK, in a bid to force the company to supply it with the agreed number of doses first.
At the same time, many member states of the EU27 have also blocked the use of AstraZeneca’s treatment, developed in conjunction with Oxford University, in people over the age of 65 as a result of concerns of isolated incidents of blood-clotting.
Ms Adye has written to Mr Johnson, as well as MPs of all parties, stressing the importance of the UK pushing back against what she characterised as attempts by the European Union to “slander and undermine” the UK, its vaccine strategy and UK-made vaccines themselves.
She said: “As a nation we must not allow ourselves to be perceived by the world as a second-class country as a result of these attempts by the EU to turn us into their scapegoat.
“If we are to ensure our future success as an independent country, free from the grasp of the EU’s failing federal experiment, then we must take action, starting with increasing the capacity for the domestic production of vaccines.”
Ms Adye added: “We must never again be exposed to the whims of foreign powers, not just when it comes to vaccines, but our entire economy, especially when it comes to issues of infrastructure and healthcare.
“If the EU continues to try and cut the UK off from vaccines we are legally entitled to – as they have done with Australia – then we must not hesitate to respond in kind by stopping the exportation of key vaccine components made in the UK to the EU.”
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It was crucial for the Prime Minister to send a clear signal that the UK was not a soft touch, Ms Adye stressed.
She explained: “Continuing to allow this country to be pushed around by leaders in the European Union would be catastrophic for our negotiating stance around the world.
“The necessary path is not always the most pleasant Prime Minister!”
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The European Medicines Agency (EMA) yesterday confirmed it was continuing to look at reports of rare blood clots related to the vaccine from Janssen, whose parent company is Johnson & Johnson.
The vaccine is yet to be approved for use in the UK, but the Government has ordered 30 million doses.
UK Government adviser Professor Peter Openshaw told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday: “We still have to bear in mind just how rare these events are, and we’re doing something at massive scale in terms of rolling out these vaccines, and there are many vaccines around.
“It wouldn’t be surprising to find the J & J, the Janssen vaccine, also causes rare blood clots, because it’s based on an adenovirus technology which is not that far away from the technology which is being used in the AstraZeneca vaccine.”
He added: “These are extraordinarily rare events and there is no medicine that is going to be completely free of side-effects.
“But this is on the scale of the risk of adverse outcome that you would expect if you were to get in the car and drive 250 miles, and many of us wouldn’t blink before taking that risk.
“So I think it really is important to recognise just how rare these events are.”
The EMA is also looking at five reports of rare capillary leak syndrome in people who were vaccinated with AstraZeneca.
This syndrome causes leakage of fluid from blood vessels, causing tissue swelling and a drop in blood pressure.
Scientists last week pointed out women who take the oral contraceptive pill (OCP) are 250 times more likely to develop blood clots than people who receive the AstraZeneca jab.
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