ROBERT Readman raises the issue of the safety of Astra Zeneca (Echo, March 18), runs through a polemically charged pseudo analysis, coming to the conclusion (knock me down with a feather) loss of confidence in the Astra Zeneca is all the fault of those terrible Europeans.

The issue at stake is “safety”.

No British government will say it is not safe to drive on our motorways but there were 250 deaths on motorways and A roads in 2018.

No government will say it is not safe to fly but 299 people died in commercial airline crashes in 2020.

Safe does not mean absolutely safe. It is all a matter of risk analysis and for that we turn to mathematical statistics.

In respect of Astra Zeneca blood clotting, cause and effect is not proven. But it seems all too clear risks needs to be further assessed.

The risk of being infected by Covid in UK seems to be about 1 in 17 (4 million cases in 70 million population). Of those infected risk of fatalities seems to be 1 in 33 (130K fatalities in 4 million cases).

It follows risk of dying from Covid in UK would seem to be around 1 in 560.

According to Astra Zeneca, 40 blood clotting cases have been reported out of 17 million EU wider Astra Zeneca vaccinations. A risk of 1 in 430,000.

A far lower risk than getting Covid. But, and the big “but”, to be taken ill after having had a vaccine shot, with clear correlation, is all the more devastating.

What we trust is going to protect us from Covid ends up making us seriously ill. This is very different from randomly catching the virus.

And of course we can all do the right things to protect ourselves. Bottom line any and all countries are right to pause and re-assess.

The bigger problem is mass production and distribution world wide, of the emerging best of our vaccines.

No-one is safe until we are all safe. We must maintain a universal ethos.

Alexandra Road, Parkstone