FRESH concerns have been raised about the safety of the AstraZeneca Covid jab due to its links to rare blood clots - but what are the symptoms to watch out for?

Yesterday the Government announced under 30s would no longer receive the vaccine due to concerns over the "extremely rare" side effect.

In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there were still huge benefits of the vaccine in preventing Covid-19 and serious disease.

However, due to a very small number of blood clots in younger people, those under the age of 30 will be offered Pfizer or Moderna instead.

The jab has already been distributed to residents across the UK, however.

There are said to be eight symptoms to watch out for which could be a cause for concern.

If you've had any of these after having the vaccine you should seek "prompt medical advice".

These are:

  • New onset of persistent headaches
  • Blurred vision
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Leg swelling
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Unusual skin bruising
  • Pin-point spots behind the eyes

Is the vaccine safe?

Despite concerns over the vaccine's use, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have insist the jab's benefits outweigh the risks.


Mr Johnson told reporters in Cornwall: “These vaccines are safe, they’ve saved many thousands of lives and people should come forward to get their jabs and we’ll make sure that they get the right jabs.”

Those who've had the jab have been urged to watch out for the symptoms above and seek medical advice if they are concerned after receiving the jab.

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “Anyone who has symptoms four days after vaccination or more should seek prompt medical advice – a new onset of a severe or persistent headache or blurred vision, shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain or indeed unusual skin bruising or pin-point spots beyond the injection site.”

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How many people have been affected by blood clots?

Up to March 31, the MHRA has received 79 reports of blood clots accompanied by low blood platelet count, all in people who had their first dose of the vaccine.

Of these 79, a total of 19 people have died, although it has not been established what the cause was in every case.

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The 79 cases occurred in 51 women and 28 men, aged from 18 to 79.

Of the 19 who died, three were under the age of 30, the MHRA said. Some 14 of those cases were CVST while the other five were thrombosis.

Meanwhile, in Europe, the EMA has carried out an in-depth review of 62 cases of CVST and 24 cases of splanchnic vein thrombosis in which 18 people died.

Dr Raine said there was a “reasonably plausible” link between the AstraZeneca jab and rare blood clots, but stressed these were “extremely rare”.

She said: “Based on the current evidence, the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca against Covid-19 and its associated risks – hospitalisation and death – continues to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.

“Our review has reinforced that the risk of this rare suspected side effect remains extremely small.”