The managing director of the Regulatory Authority for Medicines and Health Products (MHRA), Dr. June Raine, released a list of symptoms during a briefing today that should prompt the public to seek medical advice quickly.
She said of the briefing: “Anyone who has symptoms four days or more after vaccination should seek medical advice immediately if they have severe or persistent headache or blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, or even unusual bruises or spots on the skin beyond the injection site. “
Dr. Sabine Straus, Chair of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said the development of side effects was “not unexpected”.
She said, “We know that we are introducing vaccination on a very large scale (to) a very large number of healthy people, and the difficulty is that events occur, some of which are random and some of which may be detrimental to the effect of the vaccine. “
Emer Cooke, the regulator’s executive director, added, “The situation is evolving as we have more information, more vaccines are available, and different risk groups are identified.
“We can assume that there will be new information and recommendations over time.”
The EMA said it found 18 cases of blood clotting from the AstraZeneca vaccine in the European Union and the United Kingdom that were fatal.
Dr. Sabine Straus, head of the EMA’s Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (Prac), said she could not determine age and gender as risk factors for “very rare” side effects.
Speaking at the EMA meeting on Wednesday on the AstraZeneca vaccine in relation to cases of thromboembolic events, she said, “The committee has conducted a detailed review of 62 cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and 24 cases of splanchnic venous thrombosis (SVT)) in the drug database of the European Union.
As of March 22, 18 of these cases were fatal.
“The cases came mainly from reporting systems in the European Economic Area and the UK.
“Our conclusion is that these bleeding disorders are very rare side effects of the vaccine.
“Most of the cases occurred in people under the age of 60 and in women. However, due to the different ways the vaccine is used in different countries, the committee did not conclude that age and gender are clear risk factors for this very rare side effect. “
The eight symptoms to look out for
- Severe or persistent headache that emerges
- Blurred vision
- shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Leg swelling
- Persistent abdominal pain
- Unusual bruises on the skin
- Pinpoint locations beyond the injection site