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The AstraZeneca Vaccine: It is Safe and Effective


Downing Street announced on the 7th March that the AstraZeneca, where possible, would not be used for those under the age of 30 due to the “very, very rare” possibility of blood clots. Governments need to be cautious; anti-vax groups are on the rise and feed off careless mistakes. Health administrators cannot afford to be cavalier with the production and deployment of treatments. However, there needs to be a balance between constructive and practical precautions and ensuring a healthy trust for vaccines is installed, especially with their importance in fighting COVID-19. 


The Government is being cautious. It is important to maintain trust between the public and state, therefore there should be absolute transparency over vaccine distribution and health concerns. However, with regards to the blood clots, these are the chances of developing one due to the vaccine. First, there is a 1 in a million chance of developing a blood clot after taking the vaccine. A lone statistic is useless to calm nerves, so it is essential to compare it to other UK statistics. Within the UK there is a 1 in 500,000 chance of getting struck by lightning each year, to be hit by a car your odds are a lot lower at roughly 1 in 4,300. Most amusingly, the chance of getting hit by an asteroid is 1 in 40,000, according to Nasa. Every day we partake in activities that are substantially more dangerous than getting the AZ vaccine. 

The danger of the clot 

For argument’s sake, if 10 million people get the vaccine, roughly 40 people may develop a blood clot, 10 of which will be fatal. However, in normal circumstances, with no vaccine, about 40-100 people within these 10 million groups would develop a fatal blood clot regardless of the vaccine, with far more seen in younger people, according to the BBC. Currently, “the pill” is the most commonly used contraceptive method for young women. The pill raises your chances of having a blood clot by 6 times, yet it is almost rudimentary in the 18-24 age group. This article is not trying to scare everyone into realising that death is everywhere, and statistically, we are all doomed. It strives to put the AZ vaccine blood clot into perspective. This vaccine is safe and effective, and whilst there is a temporary pause, I am confident it will be removed soon. 

Who does the vaccine save? 

Young people are hesitant to get the vaccine as Coronavirus is extremely unlikely to kill healthy people under 30. The risk of a blood clot for a vaccine, therefore, seems unnecessary. Using the 10-million-person example again. Without the vaccine, about 16,000 of these individuals may catch Coronavirus at the current levels of circulation. Of this 16,000, about 1500 would end up in a hospital, and around 400 may die. Coronavirus has been proven to be less fatal to younger people; however Long Covid is just as damaging to younger people as the old. Long Covid has an array of symptoms, from neurological damage that can cause “fog head” and anxiety to damaged lungs causing tightness in the chest and general discomfort. There is now mounting evidence that vaccines knock out symptoms of ‘Long Covid’ and are allowing people to fully recover. The vaccine is not only protecting you against the risk of fatality but also potentially removing the possibility of ‘Long Covid’. More than a million people had ‘Long Covid’ in February, with 20% saying they could still not fulfil their day-to-day activities. That is a million people still feeling debilitated by a virus that supposedly only affects old people. The vaccine is safe and effective. While precaution is needed, we should all be getting our jab to protect ourselves and those around us. 

Young people have a societal duty to get vaccinated

Young people in many ways have taken the greatest hit from the pandemic. Schools have been closed for large parts of the year, and University, which is supposed to be the most liberating and social time of one’s life, has been lonely due to stringent social distancing measures. Young people must view the vaccine as our final act to protect elderly and vulnerable people. Whilst we may not want the vaccine as it doesn’t’ seem as pertinent to us, it protects the rest of society. There is data to show it reduces transmission of the virus, and so vaccines stop its circulation. If there is less circulation, there is less chance of vaccine-evading mutations developing, and so the battle against the virus becomes leveller. It is our greatest defence; it is better than masks and social distancing and is the easiest to do. We must perceive the vaccine less as a way to protect ourselves, but more as a way to take part in the national effort to end this war we have been fighting for more than a year. 

It rightly makes you question the vaccine when the Government pauses the distribution due to health concerns. But, this vaccine is safe and effective and is far safer than the majority of your daily activities.

Are you concerned about the vaccine and links to blood clotting?

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