The EU medicine regulator declared on Wednesday that the benefits of the jab outweigh the risks. But how risky is the vaccine for your age group and level of exposure to the virus?

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have looked at the potential benefits from the vaccine, as well as the potential harms due to side effects.

Overall, the conclusion is clear. In nearly all instances, the risks posed by Covid-19 infection outweigh the very small risk of vaccine side effects. However, in certain circumstances, caution may be advised.

The academics from the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication, using UK data, looked at the risk of being admitted to ICU from Covid versus the risk of blood clots from the jab.

They did not take into account the risk of severe allergic reaction, which is so rare that there was not enough data to illustrate. This may be because precautions have been taken to protect those likely to suffer such a reaction.

Scenario 1 - Low exposure risk

This scenario is based on coronavirus incidence of 2 per 10,000. It suggests that for those in the 20-29 age group, serious harms due to the vaccine slightly outweigh the risk of ICU admission due to Covid. However, the difference is small.

RTL

© Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication

Scenario 2 - Medium exposure risk

This scenario is based on coronavirus incidence of 6 per 10,000. For all age groups, it suggests the risk posed by Covid is greater than any risk from vaccine side effects.

RTL

© Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication

Scenario 3 - High exposure risk

This scenario is based on coronavirus incidence of 20 per 10,000. This is roughly where Luxembourg is currently, with an exposure rate of 247 per 100,000. Again, for all age groups, it suggests the risk posed by Covid is greater than any risk from vaccine side effects.

RTL

© Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication