AstraZeneca Covid jab safety questions answered by Liverpool GP and Director of Public Health

A Liverpool GP and the Director of Public Health in Blackpool answer some of the key questions about the AstraZeneca Covid-19 injection.

Dr Rob Barnett who is a GP in Liverpool, and Dr Arif Rajpura who is the Director of Public Health in Blackpool, answer questions about the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab:

Q: Are your patients worried?

"There's no doubt we've had an increase in calls from patients in relation to this and their questions are valid. They want to know 'is it safe to have the vaccine?' and in all cases so far I haven't had a reason to say they shouldn't have the jab."

Dr Rob Barnett, GP in Liverpool

Q: The Government's said it's going to offer younger people a different vaccine. What conclusion do we draw from that?

"What we need to remember are these are very rare events that blood clots have been reported. What we know from the data so far is these very rare events tend to occur in younger populations so that's why the Government has taken that approach of offering a different vaccine to the under 30s."

Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health in Blackpool

Q: As far as you're concerned how big a risk is this vaccine?

"The risk IS very small, it has affected about 4 in 1 million people so the risk is miniscule. People need to make an informed choice but there are a lot of things in life that have risks so one has to balance those risks with the benefit of the vaccine, and that benefit (of the vaccine) as we've seen far outweighs any risk."

Dr Rob Barnett, GP in Liverpool

AstraZeneca jab won't be given to under-30s Credit: PA images

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will be withheld from anyone under 30 so experts can investigate whether the jab is linked to rare brain blood clots or not.

Some European countries have restricted the vaccine use in younger people following reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) – a specific type of clot that prevents blood from draining from the brain, as well as low platelet counts – cells that help blood clot.