Australians are more likely to get blood clots from taking the pill or flying long haul than getting AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, studies show.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the state premiers have all backed the vaccine while the Therapeutic Goods Administration has said the jab is safe for public use.
Their support for the AstraZeneca version – which most Australians will have – is despite British regulators advising young people be given a different vaccine.
Of the 18 million people vaccinated in Britain against the virus, the national regulator has reported blood clotting in 79 recipients – 19 of whom died.
A registered nurse receives an injection of the Covid-19 vaccine in Townsville, central Queensland in March. Of the 18million people vaccinated in Britain against the virus, the national regulator has reported blood clotting in 79 recipients – or one in 228,000
But by those figures, only one in 228,000 AstraZeneca recipients have suffered a clot after going under the needle.
The risk of this type of rare blood clot is about four people in a million who receive the vaccine.
From flying long-haul to having orthopedic surgery and getting pregnant, these activities are more likely to give you potentially deadly blood clots than a coronavirus vaccine.
While 37 out of 17 million inoculations in the EU and UK were linked to blood clots, women taking certain types of the contraceptive pill face much starker odds each year.
An article in the medical journal Lancet last year said about five in 10,000 women each year suffer blood clots after taking the combined contraceptive pill.
By that measure, the incidence rate is one in 2,000 cases – 125 times more frequent than the figures reported for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Women taking certain types of the contraceptive pill face much starker odds each year of suffering from blood clots (stock image)
Deep vein thrombosis – a potentially deadly clotting condition that affects veins deep inside the body – is estimated to affect one in 1,000 people.
According to an investigation by the World Health Organization, that risk doubles after a long-haul flight of more than four hours.
In healthy people, the risk of travel-related DVT on plane journeys over four hours is one incident every 4,656 flights.
For long-haul trips over 16 hours, that figure drops by almost three-quarters to one incident every 1,264 flights.
The increased level of risk also applies to other forms of transport where people are sat down for long periods such as cars, buses or trains.
The risk of suffering deep vein thrombosis doubles after a long-haul flight of more than four hours to about one in 500 people (stock image)
Deadly pulmonary embolisms – where a blood clot blocks an artery leaving the lung – occurred in 25.1 of 100,000 live births in the US in 2015.
That figure equates to one in 3,984 pregnancies that are carried to term.
Those who suffer from Covid-19 itself face a heightened risk of clotting and lower platelet counts, Britain’s Chair of the Committee of Human Medicines Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed said.
He referred to a report that found 7.8 per cent of people who have Covid-19 suffer a pulmonary embolism, and 11.2 per cent experience DVT.
A study found the risk of suffering from blood clots after orthopaedic surgery is one in 33 patients (stock image)
‘That puts into context that the risk of clots and lower platelet is much higher with Covid-19 than these extremely rare events which are occurring with the vaccine,’ he said.
The US’ National Blood Clot Alliance estimated orthopaedic surgery leads to DVT in three per cent of patients and a pulmonary embolism in 1.5 per cent.
That figure jumps to as much as 80 per cent in patients who have not had preventative treatment to stop blood clots.