UK’s Johnson says he will have AztraZeneca jab, dismisses safety fears
IslamNews – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he will take the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca after a number of European countries halted their rollout of the jab over safety fears.
Johnson dismissed questions in parliament about why several countries had suspended use of the product developed by the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company with scientists at Oxford University.
But he told lawmakers: “I finally got news and I’ve got to have my own jab, very shortly, I’m pleased to discover.
Johnson, 56, is among the next category of people being called for vaccination. The government hopes to have offered it to all adults by July.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that timeline remains on track, despite the National Health Service in England warning in a letter to administrators that vaccine supplies will be “significantly constrained” from March 29 for up to a month.
“Vaccine supply is always lumpy and we regularly send out technical letters to the NHS to explain the ups and downs of the supply over the future weeks,” Hancock told a news conference, insisting the letter was “standard” practice.
Britain has now given more than 25 million people a first dose of a Covid vaccine — including 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab — after starting a mass inoculation program in December last year.
It is also using a jab developed by Pfizer/BioNTech in its rollout program but recipients do not normally get a choice of vaccines.
Johnson wrote in the Times newspaper that the AstraZeneca vaccine “is safe and works extremely well.” Hancock and England’s deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam echoed that assurance at the press conference.
European countries including France, Spain and Germany are among those who have halted using the jab pending a review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) amid feared links to blood clots and brain haemorrhages.