By Rachael Grealish
Brits under 30 will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine following Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) investigation into blood clot links.
The government advisors announced today, Wednesday April 7, following 79 people developing blood clots following the jab those aged 18 – 29 would receive either a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
MHRA concluded there is a ‘possible link’ between the Oxford vaccine and ‘extremely rare and unlikely to occur’ blood clots with lowered platelets.
England’s deputy chief medical officer Profess Jonathan Van-Tam said the new advice is a ‘course correction’ for a ‘very successful’ vaccine rollout.
As for other age groups he said the ‘benefits outweigh the risks’.
This advice is now in place as, up to March 31, 79 people in the UK had the rare blood clots following having an Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, it was confirmed by Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA.
Unfortunately, 19 of those 79 died due to the blood clot and three of the deaths occurred in people under 30-years-old.
And Dr Raine called the risk ‘four in a million’.
The JCVI has said people of any age, including those under 30, who have already received the first dose of the British-developed jab should continue to be offered the second dose according to schedule.
JCVI chairman Professor Wei Shen Lim said: “We are advising a preference of one vaccine over another vaccine for a particular age group out of utmost caution rather than any serious safety concerns.”
In a bid to reassure the public, Professor JVT went on to say the process of altering vaccine and medicine preferences for different patients is very normal procedure for doctors.
He also reminded the public it is ‘vitally important’ to get a vaccine when it is your time to do so.
Pfizer was the first kind of vaccine to be rolled out in the UK, back in December, and Moderna started its UK rollout today in Wales.
The Prime Minister, told reporters today, on a visit to Cornwall, the government believes the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is ‘safe’.
He said: “But the crucial thing for everybody is to listen to what the scientists, the medical experts have to say later on today.”
On the vaccination programme, he added: “You can really start to see some of the benefits of that – it’s pretty clear that the decline in the number of deaths, the decline in the number of hospitalisations is being fuelled, is being assisted, the steepness of that decline is being helped by the roll-out of the vaccines so it’s very important for everybody to continue to get your second jab when you’re asked to come forward for your turn.”
Anybody suffering the following side effects four days after getting a jab should seek medical attention:
- Blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Leg swelling
- Abdominal pain
- Bruising or pinpoint spots beyond the vaccination site.