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COVID-19: Blair calls for publicity on benefits of vaccines

 By Maureen Ikpeama

 British former prime minister , Tony Blair has called on Boris Johnson to launch a major  publicity campaign to boost COVID-19 vaccine take-up rates and allay fears about side-effects.

Blair said the government should do more to sell the benefits of vaccines and publish data on how effective and safe they are.

Blair's call was contained  in a new report - "Restoring Confidence in the Workhorse Covid-19 Vaccines', published by his Institute for Global Change - which examines reasons for rising vaccine hesitancy, particularly relating to AstraZeneca.

Side effects reported by patients receiving the AstraZeneca jab have included blood clots, pain around the injection, fatigue, headache, nausea, joint pain and muscle ache."In this paper, we set out why the reluctance - particularly around the AstraZeneca vaccine - is completely wrong and unjustified," Mr Blair writes in the foreword to the report.

"Why regulators in different countries are taking decisions based on a narrow and unbalanced view of risk, and why the policymakers in government need to grip this situation urgently and bring some coherence and logic to the issue of vaccine assessment

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