Women under 30 are more likely to develop a blood clot as a result of taking the contraceptive pill than the AstraZeneca vaccine, a leading professor has said.
David Spiegelhalter, chair of the Winton Centre for Risk at the University of Cambridge, has said one in 90,000 people under the age of 30 are likely to suffer a blood clot in the brain after having the jab.
Meanwhile, he explained the risk from taking the contraceptive pill stands at one in 1,000 - or one in 2,000 for women in their twenties - which makes it 50-100 times more risky.
He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "If you filled up Wembley stadium with people in their 20s, and you vaccinated them all, we would sadly expect one to get one of these [side] effects.
"This is something that perhaps should have been emphasised all the time for younger people, who can get long Covid, and it would prevent the huge numbers of that as well, but [also] being vaccinated is as much a contribution to the community and their relatives and the people around them.
"Preventing transmission has this direct benefit for themselves."
Ever since the links between the AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clotting occurred, experts have been weighing up the risks. Speaking to BBC Newsnight, Professor Stephen Reicher from the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours, explained if you had the jab today "it was probably the safest thing you did".
"If today, you had the AstraZeneca jab, it was probably the safest thing you did," he said.
"It was probably more dangerous to have a bath, about 30 people drown in the bath each year. It was certainly more dangerous walking down the stairs, 1,000 people die walking down the stairs and it was safer than having breakfast."
Yesterday, the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that due to an "extremely small" number of blood clot cases, those aged under 30 should be offered a different vaccine.
While more cases of the clots have been reported in men than women - 51 of the 79 in the UK - this could be down to the vaccine being given to more women than men.
"If you look at the incidence rate according to the number of vaccines administered, there's actually no difference between men and women," said Munir Pirmohamed, chair of the UK's Commission on Human Medicines.
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