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Boris Johnson is to get his vaccine and 'it will certainly be Oxford/AstraZeneca'

56-year-old Johnson is in Cohort 8 of the UK’s roll-out order.
Mar 17th 2021, 2:33 PM 18,910 31

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

UK PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has said he is due to have his Covid-19 vaccine shortly and it will “certainly be Oxford/AstraZeneca”.

In an effort to support for the jab, Johnson said the fact he is getting it is “the best thing I can say” about it. 

It comes as more than a dozen European countries including Ireland have temporarily stopped using vaccine. Johnson told MPs today:

I think perhaps the best thing I can say about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine programme is that I finally got news that I’m going to have my own jab very shortly, I’m pleased to discover…It will certainly be Oxford/AstraZeneca that I will be having.

56-year-old Johnson is in Cohort 8 of the UK’s roll-out order. Cohort 9 represents those aged 50 to 54 and those in England in that group are now being formally invited to get their Covid-19 vaccine.

Just over 47% of adults in the UK have now had one dose of a jab.

Johnson’s comments came as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen suggested that exports of coronavirus vaccines could be halted to countries with higher vaccination rates.

In what could be seen as a reference to the UK, she told reporters in Brussels: “We are exporting a lot to countries that are themselves producing vaccines and we think this is an invitation to be open, so that we also see exports from those countries coming back to the European Union.

“The second point that is of importance to us: we will reflect on whether exports to countries who have higher vaccination rates than us are still proportionate.”

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses for Europe including the UK are being produced in BioNTech’s German manufacturing sites, as well as in Pfizer’s manufacturing site in Belgium.

The comments came after a leading UK expert said people across Europe will die from Covid-19 as a direct consequence of the decision to halt rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Professor Jeremy Brown, from the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said the move by several European countries to suspend the vaccine over blood clot fears was “not sensible” and was “not logical”.

He told Good Morning Britain: “There is the concern that what’s happening in Europe might make people in the UK less confident in the AstraZeneca vaccine, unnecessarily so, because it’s perfectly safe.”

The vaccine has been given to around 11 million people in the UK “and there’s been no serious side effects reported in this country,”, he added.

It is confusing to understand why so many countries have decided to stop using the vaccine Many of those countries are going through a third wave, and by stopping using the vaccine they’re actually literally causing more problems.

“By not using the vaccine, this is going to directly lead to an increased incidence of Covid infection and people will die as a consequence of these decisions.”

The European Medicines Agency is continuing to carry out its investigation into the vaccine after reports of rare blood-clotting events but but has said it is ’firmly convinced’ benefits of AstraZeneca vaccine ‘outweigh the risks of the side effects’ 

Sweden and Latvia have followed countries including Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and Spain in temporarily suspending AstraZeneca jabs in light of a small number of reports of bleeding, blood clots and low blood platelet counts.

Some of the focus has been on Germany, where officials have received seven reports in total of bleeding and a form of severe cerebral venous thrombosis associated with low platelets.

Of the seven people, three have died, and all were aged between 20 and 50, officials said.

Six of the people had a particular form of cerebral venous thrombosis, called sinus vein thrombosis, and all of these were “younger to middle-aged women”.

Prof Brown said he did not believe clots reported in Germany “will turn out to be linked to the vaccine anyway – this is an incredibly rare event”.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) also again reiterated its belief that vaccination with Astrazeneca continues but that it is “good practice” to investigate potential adverse events.

“WHO considers that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh its risks, and recommends that vaccinations continue,” it said in a statement.

- With reporting by Press Association 

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Rónán Duffy

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