Home U.K AstraZeneca vaccine won't be offered to under-30s amid blood clot fears

AstraZeneca vaccine won't be offered to under-30s amid blood clot fears

0


AstraZeneca: Aspirin is ‘probably more dangerous’ says expert

A review found a possible link between the vaccine and an increase in the risk of rare blood clots. Healthy people aged 18 to 29 will now be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead. But medical experts have insisted the Oxford/AstraZeneca dose is still safe and played down any fears. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said the change in guidance was not unusual and should not delay the rollout.

He said: “It is a course correction but nevertheless it is full speed ahead with the UK vaccine programme so that we can get life back to normal.” Boris Johnson thanked the review panel for their work and for explaining “the potential for extremely rare side-effects”.

The Prime Minister said: “As the regulators have said, this vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives – and the vast majority of people should continue to take it when offered.

“We will follow today’s updated advice, which should allow people of all ages to continue to have full confidence in vaccines, helping us save lives and cautiously return towards normality.”

He added that the change should not affect the easing of lockdown, saying: “I don’t see any reason at this stage at all to think we need to deviate from the roadmap.

“And we’re also very secure about our supply.”

The evidence of a link between the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and blood clots was laid out at a press conference by a panel of four top advisers.

astra

AstraZeneca remains safe despite blood clot fears, say experts (Image: Getty)

Dr June Raine, chief executive of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said that by March 31 more than 20 million doses of the vaccine had been administered.

The regulator received 79 reports of blood clotting cases alongside low levels of platelets, including 19 where the patient died.

This equated to a risk of about four in one million of developing a blood clot after vaccination.

Dr Raine said the cases affected an “extremely small” number of people and insisted the benefits of the jab still outweighed the risks.

She added: “The evidence is firming up and our review has concluded that while it’s a strong possibility, more work is needed to establish beyond all doubt that the vaccine has caused these side-effects.”

The panel explained that they had weighed the risks of becoming seriously ill or dying from Covid-19 against the “extremely small risk of an adverse event” after receiving the Oxford vaccine.

June Raine

Dr June Raine said the risk of Covid is greater than clots (Image: Getty)

For older people, who are most vulnerable to the virus, the balance is still strongly in favour of taking the jab.

However, younger people are at much lower risk of severe Covid.

In light of this, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommended it would be “preferable for adults aged under 30 with no underlying conditions to be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine where available”.

JCVI chairman Professor Wei Shen Lim said: “We are not advising a stop to any vaccination for any individual in any age group.

“We are advising a preference for one vaccine over another vaccine, for a particular age group, really out of the utmost caution rather than because we have any serious safety concerns.”

matt hancock

Matt Hancock says the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risk (Image: Getty)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted: “The MHRA have confirmed that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and that the benefits far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.

“We’re on track to offer a first jab to all adults by the end of July. When you get the call, get the jab.

“Many thanks to the regulators and my clinical advisers for their work, their clarity and their total transparency.

“This is the excellence of UK institutions in action – clear, transparent communication of advice based on the best science.”

Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group, said: “Safety has been our priority throughout the development of the vaccine.

“We are reassured to see that safety monitoring continues under the close scrutiny of regulators and public health authorities as the vaccine is rolled out.”

Anyone under 30 who has received a first dose of the Oxford vaccine already should still receive a second of the same brand unless they had blood clots, experts said.

Latest figures show that 31.7 million people in the UK have now received a first Covid jab, and more than 5.6 million have had a second dose.

The update came as research showed infections in England dropped by around 60 percent from February to March.

A further 2,763 cases and 45 deaths were reported across the UK yesterday.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here