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Alternatives to AZ vaccine should be offered to those under 30 in the UK

Blood clots are still seen as a very rare side effect to the AZ vaccine


The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that alternative vaccines should be offered to those aged between 18 to 29 where available.

In the UK, 79 people have had rare blood clots after being given the AstraZeneca (AZ)/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine, as of the end of March, and 19 have died, according to a review by the MHRA.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said that cases of blood clots after having the AZ/Oxford vaccine are extremely rare.

In a press release yesterday, the MHRA said: ‘The benefits of vaccination continue to outweigh any risks but the [agency] advises careful consideration be given to people who are at higher risk of specific types of blood clots because of their medical condition.’

Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, said that while the side effects were "extremely rare", it was more "finely balanced" in younger age groups.

She added: "The balance of benefits and known risks is still very favourable for the majority of people."

In its press release, the MHRA went on to state, however, that it is ‘not recommending age restrictions’ in the use of the AZ/Oxford vaccine, even though ‘the evidence of a link with the vaccine is stronger’. The MHRA added that ‘more work is still needed’.

By the end of March, 20.2 million doses of the AZ/Oxford vaccine had been given in the UK, and the MHRA said that this means that ‘the overall risk’ of these blood clots occurring in people who receive the AZ jab is ‘approximately four people in a million’.

The MHRA also confirmed that those due for a second dose of the AZ/Oxford vaccine

‘should come forward for their second dose when invited’, as long as they had not experienced these side effects.

Professor Lim Wei Shen of the JCVI said this recommendation was made "out of the utmost caution".

Article by
Iona Everson

8th April 2021

From: Research, Regulatory



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