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Is the AstraZeneca jab safe to take?

Deputy Chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) Professor Antony Harnden joined Good Morning Britain to discuss the safety of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine after several countries in Europe suspended its rollout.

Professor Harnden told Ben Shephard and Susanna Reid people are more at risk from blood clots from contracting Covid-19 than they are from receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

Germany, France and Italy have all suspended the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

"Safety is of paramount importance to any vaccination programme," Mr Harnden said. "We've immunised 11 million or more doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to date in the UK and we are not seeing and we are not seeing any increase in signals in blood clots in the vaccinated group and that of the general population.

"Moreover our regulator the MHRA, the JCVI, the European Medicine Agency and the WHO have all come out and said this vaccine is safe."

Ben asked Mr Harnden what it is European scientists are telling or not telling the politicians which has sparked the suspension of the AstraZeneca jab, he said: "At the moment, the data they have shown us on the JCVI gives me absolutely no cause for the concern that this vaccine is anything but safe and effective."

Professor Harnden said the JCVI doesn't know what Norway, for example, are seeing in the data that is giving them such cause for concern around blood clots and the AstraZeneca vaccine.

He repeated there are no increased rates in blood clots over what would be expected in the general population after the 11 million vaccines administered in the UK.

"The message to the public at the moment is this vaccine is completely safe," Mr Harnden said.

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