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AstraZeneca statement - 17 March 2021

The region's Directors of Public Health reassure people that they consider the AstraZeneca vaccine to be safe and effective:

"There have been 37 reports of potentially serious blood clots out of the 17 million doses given to people across the EU - that's actually a lower number of incidents than you'd expect to see in the population.  The UK regulator (the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), the European Medicines Evaluation Agency (the European regulator for medicines and vaccines) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have all said there is no indication that the vaccine causes blood clots and have recommended its continued use. With that in mind, it is difficult to understand why some EU countries have suspended its use.  What people probably don't know is that there is evidence that if you get COVID-19, you're at higher risk of developing blood clots during infection, and those that do have an increased risk of dying.

"We want to reassure people that, on the basis of current evidence, we consider the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to be safe and effective. All adverse effects are closely monitored through the same tried and tested process we use for other medicines.  While we understand people might be worried, this vaccine is the best way of protecting yourself and your family from this awful virus, and to help us all look forward to a brighter future. If you are offered vaccination in the coming days, we would strongly urge you to take it"

Mark Adams, Director of Public Health, South Tees

Craig Blundred, Director of Public Health, Hartlepool Council

Sarah Bowman-Abouna, Director of Public Health, Stockton on Tees Council

Wendy Burke, Director of Public Health, North Tyneside Council

Tom Hall, Director of Public Health, South Tyneside Council

Amanda Healy, Director of Public Health, Durham County Council

Eugene Milne, Director of Public Health, Newcastle upon Tyne

Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health, Northumberland County Council

Penny Spring, Director of Public Health, Darlington Borough Council

Gerry Taylor, Director of Public Health, Sunderland City Council

Alice Wiseman, Director of Public Health, Gateshead Council

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