If blood clots have halted entire vaccine rollouts, should we be taking more time to consider the side effects of female contraception?
Over a dozen countries around the globe have restricted use of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine due to fears surrounding potential side effects.
Germany, Spain, and Italy are amongst the nations restricting usage, only distributing the vaccine to those over the age of 60. This week the UK announced it will be offering alternative vaccinations to those under 30.
The reason? The AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to blood clotting.
The attention on this specific side effect has ignited an online debate regarding women’s use of the contraceptive pill – which poses a much greater risk of blood clotting.
Now, there is a lot of science to unpack here. To break it down, in recent months the AstraZeneca vaccine has been linked to deaths related to or caused by blood clots.
In the UK, 30 people out of 18 million who have received the AstraZeneca jab have developed a blood clot, out of these 30 people MHRA, The UK’s medicine regulatory body, confirmed 7 had died.
In Europe these numbers seem to be higher amongst those vaccinated with the AZ jab. Germany have reported 31 clots and 9 deaths out of 2.7 million people receiving AZ.
According to England’s health minister Matt Hancock, the risk of blood clots posed by the AZ vaccine is the ‘equivalent risk of taking a long-haul flight’. The EU’s medicines regulator, meanwhile, stated that the unusual blood clots should be listed as a possible but ‘very rare’ side effect.