More than four in ten Britons aren't particularly confident that the UK could handle another pandemic well, a YouGov poll has revealed.
The poll asked 2,765 British adults how much confidence they have, if any, that the UK would be able to handle another pandemic if it happened in the future.
While 14% answered 'a great deal' and a further 39% said 'some', the remainder were less confident, with 42% answering negatively.
Some 13% said they had 'none at all', while 29% answered 'not very much'.
The survey comes as the UK medicines regulator urged people to continue having the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID jab, after a growing number of countries suspended its rollout over fears about blood clots.
Denmark, Norway and Iceland said they were temporarily halting all jabs using the vaccine to investigate reports of blood clots among people who have received it.
Italy also joined Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Luxembourg and Lithuania in banning one particular batch of a million AstraZeneca vaccines, which was sent to 17 countries.
The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there was no evidence to suggest the vaccine caused blood clot problems, and people should still get their COVID vaccine when asked to do so.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also backed the jab’s safety and said there had been just 30 reports of blood clots among close to five million people given the vaccine across Europe.
Dr Phil Bryan, MHRA vaccines safety lead in the UK, said: “The Danish, Norwegian and and Icelandic authorities’ action to temporarily suspend use of the vaccine is precautionary whilst they investigate. Blood clots can occur naturally and are not uncommon.
“More than 11 million doses of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine have now been administered across the UK.
“Reports of blood clots received so far are not greater than the number that would have occurred naturally in the vaccinated population.”
Dr Bryan said the safety of the public always comes first and the issue was being kept under close review “but available evidence does not confirm that the vaccine is the cause”.
Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said: “Vaccine safety is critically important.
“Our UK regulator, the MHRA, review all reports of adverse events for both vaccines as they are reported.
“The public should have confidence that both vaccines used in the UK vaccination programme are safe and highly effective at preventing severe disease, including the prevention of blood clots caused by Covid.”
In a statement, AstraZeneca said patient safety was its “highest priority” and regulators have “clear and stringent efficacy and safety standards” for the approval of any new medicine.
“The safety of the vaccine has been extensively studied in phase three clinical trials and peer-reviewed data confirms the vaccine has been generally well tolerated,” it said.
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