Brits urged to call GP if headaches longer than four days after AstraZeneca jab

Brits are being urged to seek medical help if they suffer headaches longer than four days or unusual bruising after getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid jab.

UK and EU drug regulators on Thursday said the vaccine was safe amid widespread alarm over reports linking the vaccine to blood clots on the continent.

Anyone with a headache lasting more than four days or who develops unusual bruising after vaccination should seek medical advice as a precaution.

But a "thorough and careful review" by the MHRA and EMA has found no evidence linking the vaccine to blood clots.

The feared links have triggered some European countries to pause the rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Experts have now identified the "very small" number of reports as sinus vein thrombosis (CVST) which involves a clot forming in the cerebral vein of the brain.

The MHRA's vaccines safety lead, Dr Philip Bryan said: "We have had five reports of a unique form of blood clot, Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis, concurrent with low blood platelets. This is similar to some of the cases reported through Europe.

"What we don't know is whether these have been caused by the vaccines. We are working closely to determine this, because these illnesses do very rarely happen naturally. We do know that after more than five million this is extremely rare – less than one in a million cases of this even after vaccination.

"Covid disease is associated with significant mortality. Both vaccines are highly effective. And there is no proven causal association with what is still an extremely rare medical event."

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The MHRA said the clot can occur naturally in people who have not been vaccinated, the Express reports.

In the UK, five cases of CVST among 11 million people who have received the vaccine, occurred in men aged between 19 and 59.

One was fatal but the MHRA said it did not know whether it had been directly caused by the vaccine.

The agency insisted the vaccination effort "continues to be positive" but that it was reviewing the individual cases to see whether there is a link with the AstraZeneca jab.

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The regulator highlighted a number of variables that could possibly account for the association.

It was unclear whether the men had underlying health conditions, although the lower age range suggests they may have been classed as vulnerable to be allowed an early vaccine.

The EMA has meanwhile received an additional 13 reports of CSVT.

The experts added the cases were not linked to an individual batch.

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