Platelets and COVID-19 vaccines

The Platelet Society is aware of the recent reports regarding the Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) and UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have reported on extremely rare blood clotting events associated with a very small number of people receiving the AZ Covid-19 vaccine.

Whilst these events are extremely rare, we understand that members of the public may be concerned and be looking for advice and guidance. In the UK, the latest advice can be found by visiting the NHS website coronavirus pages.

Specific information and advice on the coronavirus vaccine and these rare episodes of blood clotting (thrombosis) can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccination-and-blood-clotting/covid-19-vaccination-and-blood-clotting. The International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis has also issued a full statement and this can be found here.

Current advice

The Society Supports the advice from Government and healthcare professionals. Vaccination provides protection from the potentially serious effects of Covid-19 and provides benefit to yourself and others. Although serious side effects are very rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should seek medical advice urgently:

  • a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over
  • an unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
    • blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
    • difficulty with your speech
    • weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain