FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken March 10, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

Britain’s medicines regulator on Thursday (April 22) said there had been 168 major blood clots following a dose of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, a rate of 7.9 clots per million doses, a jump in incidence from the previous week’s figure.

This was up from the 100 cases reported last week, when the overall case incidence was 4.9 per million doses.

There has been scrutiny of the AstraZeneca vaccine on the issue of the very rare clots and some countries, including Britain, have recommended that only people over a certain age get the shot.

Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics at Bristol University, said the jump in reported cases was expected.

Britain has advised that under-30s receive an alternative to the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, after the MHRA medicine regulator found there was evidence of a link to rare clots with low platelet levels.

Officials have emphasised the side effect is “vanishingly” rare and advised that most people still get the shots. The preference for under-30s to get a different shot is mainly informed by that age group’s low risk from Covid-19, combined with Britain’s low prevalence of infection.

That differs from several European countries such as France, which has decided to restrict use of AstraZeneca’s shot to people over 55.

“On the basis of this ongoing review, the advice remains that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks in the majority of people,” the MHRA said on Thursday, reiterating its advice for the shot.

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