Health chiefs describe rare blood clot symptoms and urge Bedfordians to keep taking their jabs

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Image Credit: Marco Verch, CCNull - CC-BY 2.0.

A Bedford professor and GP has described the rare symptoms of blood clots to look out for as he urged local people to keep taking their Covid-19 (coronavirus) jabs.

Professor Vijay Nayer, of Bedford Doctors on Call (Bedoc) said they are being “super cautious” in their approach to try to allay any anxiety that people have about the Oxford AstraZeneca jab.

Dr Nayer told a meeting yesterday (Thursday) that extremely rare side effects were expected to emerge as millions of people get their vaccines.

Dr Nayer said vaccinators in Bedford have started to pass on the message for the symptoms to look out for, for up to 20 days after a jab:

  •  A long-lasting headache that stays
  • Blurred vision and confusion
  • Unusual bruising on the skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pains

“They are the kind of symptoms that you will know about,” he said. “If you have any of them, please seek advice.”

Not just protecting yourself; you’re protecting your community

“It creates vaccine anxiety, quite rightly,” Dr Nayer told Bedford Borough Council’s local outbreak engagement board.

“But let’s not forget the impact the infection itself has.”

He said if someone is admitted to intensive care with covid they have a 20 per cent chance of having a blood clot.

And with a one per cent chance of dying with covid, more than 120,000 people have already succumbed to the illness.

Some 79 people have suffered blood clots, with 19 deaths, following the AstraZeneca jab, he said, and that means there is a one in 250,000 chance of a clot and one in one million chance of death.

He said the numbers were “so low” that it has not yet been possible to prove a causal link between the jab and clotting. Under 30s will not be receiving the Oxford AstraZeneca jab when their cohort is called to roll their sleeves up.

“There is a risk of dying from driving 250 miles in a car, but does that stop people driving?” he said.

The meeting heard that the vaccination programme in Bedford has now “passed the halfway stage” with 84,500 people receiving the first jab and members of the board urged the public to get their vaccinations.

“You are not just protecting yourself,” said Dr Nayer. “You are protecting your family, you are protecting the community.

“And none of us are safe until all of us are safe.

“The advantages of having the vaccine go beyond just protecting yourself.”

by David Tooley
Local Democracy Reporter

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