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UK regulator says AstraZeneca vaccine safe despite 7 clot deaths

UK regulator says AstraZeneca vaccine safe despite 7 clot deaths
Copyright Matthias Schrader/AP
Copyright Matthias Schrader/AP
By Mark Armstrong with AP
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UK medicines agency confirms seven deaths from rare blood clots from 18m people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine but says benefits still far outweigh risks.

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The UK's medicines regulator is urging people to continue taking the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, despite revealing that seven people in the country have died from rare blood clots after getting the shot. 

The Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it wasn't clear if the shots are causing the clots.

"The benefits of COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca in preventing COVID-19 infection and its complications continue to outweigh any risks and the public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so,'' said Dr June Raine, the agency's chief executive.

According to the agency, 30 people developed the clots out of a total of 18 million who received the jab.

Its "rigorous review into the UK reports of rare and specific types of blood clots is ongoing,'' the agency said.

But concerns over the AstraZeneca shot have been enough for several countries to restrict its use to older people.

Those nations include Canada, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

Experts are still trying to determine if the rare blood clots are caused by the vaccine.

Earlier this week, Europe's Medicines Agency said a link hasn't been proven but is possible.

Even if the vaccine is the cause of the clots, the numbers only indicate around one death in every 2.5 million people who receive the jab.

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