'AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and prevents Covid,' professor tells LBC

7 April 2021, 19:34

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A Professor of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases has told LBC the risk from the AstraZeneca jab is "tiny."

After the UK medicines regulator announced people under the age of 30 will be offered alternatives to the AstraZeneca vaccine, LBC's Iain Dale spoke to Professor of Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Southampton Saul Faust.

Professor Faust told Iain he didn't think the regulator was being "unnecessarily cautious", but were taking a "very safe approach."

Branding the decision "reassuring," the professor said it had been made based on evidence that has been gathered over time.

When Iain asked him if some of the negative publicity could be put off the professor said it was important for people to understand that the risk from the vaccine was "tiny" when compared to the risk from Covid.

He told LBC the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine remains "safe and effective" adding it "prevents Covid."

He said it was "really important that people recognise that it is still very safe."

Regulators are continuing to investigate possible links with very rare cases of blood clots.

Officials in the UK and EU are both insisting the vaccine is still safe.

The conversation came after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the benefits of the vaccine still outweighed the risks overall.

It said the balance of risk for the AstraZeneca vaccine was very favourable for older people but "more finely balanced" for younger groups, who did not tend to suffer serious Covid illness.

People aged 18 to 29 will be offered the Pfizer, Moderna or other jabs that come on stream as the vaccination programme rolls out across the UK.