"It’s a risk crossing a busy road" - Readers share their thoughts on the AstraZeneca vaccine update

Yesterday, the UK medicines watchdog and European regulators made a public announcement about the controversy surrounding the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine saying that the benefits of the jab does 'outweigh risks' with regards to unusual blood clots that were "very rare side effects", but under 30s would be offered an alternative.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 1:02 pm
BRIDPORT, ENGLAND - MARCH 20: Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine and syringe are seen at the medical centre on March 20, 2021 in Bridport, England. Bridport Medical Centre aims to administer a record 2,500 vaccinations in one day with vaccinators coming from medical centres including Lyme, Charmouth and Beaminster. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

We asked our readers what they thought about this version of the vaccine in particular and whether it changed their view on having the jab. This is what they had to say on the topic:

Mandy Hastain said; “I had my 1st AstraZeneca last week the only side effect I had was a headache which lasted about 36 hrs I'll definitely be having the 2nd one, most medication has side effects some of which are rare but extreme but we take these medications because they're going to make us well again without a second thought, so before you become frightened about having this vaccine have a look at the contraindications on the tablets you take on a regular basis.”

Bill Gervo Shakespeare isn’t too fussed and highlights the risks from things we’re comfortable taking; “Have a look at the side effects for ibuprofen! Heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, breathing difficulties, to name but a few. We take those without a second thought.” Steven Pilkington was also of the same opinion; “here is known side effects with nearly every medicine or vaccine. I personally would have the jab rather than the risk and consequences of catching Covid.”

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Donna Danielle Stars responded saying; “30 cases in total and 18.3 million have had the vaccine. I’d say I’m happy with those stats thanks. Every medicine can have adverse affects to someone. The contraceptive pill can cause blood clots but thousands of women still take it each day.” And Katy Lingard, “Had my 1st dose, no side effects just a sore arm near enough every medication/immunisation has side effects, best thing to do is make people more aware of blood clots and DVT's so they know the signs just incase.”

Karl Salisbury-roper piped up with his view on things; “30 cases out of 18.3 mill definitely outweighs the risk look at it this way if those 18.3 mill got corona no vaccine around 1830 die I’d take my risk with the vaccine.” “I’ve had covid and also had my first AZ vaccine. I know which made me feel the worst and it wasn't the vaccine” says Pip Laporge, and Eva Lorraine Newsam added; “Me and my husband had this vaccine and we’re both fine, we will definitely go for our second, no worries.”

Some people are a bit unsure still, like Kirsty O'Connor who had a bad experience after having her; “first jab a couple of weeks ago. Had high temperature, dizziness, shakes and was aching all over and was suffering with shooting pains which I ended up going to the hospital to check it out then I came out in a rash. Horrible reaction to my first jab. Dreading my second.”

Lee Spooner responded with a bit of a corker; “Heard a couple of people on the radio today throw in lines like “More people die of a stroke than deaths caused by blood clots”. Priceless!! And mutter things like “there are no real risks with the vaccine(s)”. Errrr ok”, to which Sophie Bramley West replied (sarcastically may we add); “none at all. Especially with this new one which skipped the animal trials and was rushed through under emergency legislation. Trials finish January 2023 so as yet no long term studies what so ever but I am well keeno. Anything that gets me back to Benidorm buddy I'm in.” This was before Lisa Hicks brought the dialogue back on track with a very salient and genuine take on things; “more women die from blood clots taking the contraceptive pill!” — sadly you are right in this instance. This was also agreed upon by Karen Hobson; “The pill can cause blood clots it doesn't stop many taking that. Sitting on your bum and flying can cause blood clots, we still do it.” And Stephen Roberts kept it simple, saying; “30 cases in 18.1million vaccines better odds than paracetamol”, and right on cue, frequent commentor, Eugene Solomon shared his thoughts; “I had this vaccine - I felt nowt. Zippo, zero, zilch, nadda, nowt. You get the idea.” Meanwhile Joanne Smith is looking at the numbers and feels it is still very much worth doing; “30 cases in 18 million whos had it how many have had a blood clot through contraception pill bet its more then 30+ a day ive had my first and had no side effects at all so will be having my second.”

Many of the serious responses actually were still in favour of having or receiving the second vaccine jab, thankfully, such as Adrian Lee, who said; “Read the leaflets on side effects that come with any medicine - you'd probably never take anything ever again. While the benefits outweigh the risks, crack on and get it” and Victoria Shaw put it all into perspective; “It’s a risk crossing a busy road, I’ve had my first jab and apart from flu symptoms for 24hours I’m fine. Bring on my 2nd jab, don’t fancy Covid thanks.”

Finally, Bettie Kirkssen responded saying; “So what we now know is that CVST risk is much lower with the Astra Zeneca vaccine than it is with other medications on the market such as hormonal contraceptives. Sounds alright to me!”

There were far more comments than we could possible include here, but you can check them out on our Facebook or on Twitter.