Rare bloodclots linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine have risen to 168 with over 21.2 million people having had the jab in the UK.
The UK’s medicines regulator said the overall case fatality rate was 19 per cent, with 32 deaths reported up to April 14.
The cases, reported through the Yellow Card scheme, occurred in 93 women and 75 men aged from 18 to 93 years old.
One case was reported after a second dose of the vaccine, the regulator said.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said that while the estimated incidence rate of cases has increased over time, the number of cases remains extremely low in the context of the millions of doses administered.
The regulator’s position remains that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.
The MHRA said, in its latest weekly summary of Yellow Card reporting, that up to April 14 it had received reports of 168 cases of major thromboembolic events (blood clots) with concurrent thrombocytopenia (low platelet counts) in people who had had the AstraZeneca jab.
This is an increase from the figure of 100 case reports up to April 5.
Of the 168 cases in the latest summary, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST or blood clots in the brain) was reported in 77 cases, and 91 cases had other major thromboembolic events with concurrent thrombocytopenia.
Of the CVST cases, the average age is 47, while for the other major thromboembolic events the average age is 55.
The estimated number of first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine given out in the UK by April 14 was 21.2 million, making the overall case incidence 7.9 per million doses, the MHRA said.
This is up from an incidence rate up to April 5 of 4.9 per million doses.
Professor Adam Finn, Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Bristol and a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said it is “already clear that it (thrombotic thrombocytopenic syndrome) is going to remain a very rare event”.
It comes as the European Commission has denied a claim by Ireland’s Health Minister that it has started a legal case against AstraZeneca.
Stephen Donnelly earlier told the Irish Parliament that the case was being launched over the company’s “complete failure” to meet its contractual agreements.