Under-30s should NOT take the AstraZeneca vaccine, says UK regulator in blow to Britain’s jab roll-out after 79 people suffer brain blood clots out of 20MILLION doses – but officials insist benefits outweigh risks for the vast majority of people
Britons under 30 should not take AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine due to mounting evidence linking it to rare blood clots, UK health chiefs ruled today.
In a major blow to the UK’s vaccination rollout, the Government’s vaccine advisory group is recommending healthy people aged 19 to 29 be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna jabs instead when the programme moves to younger groups in the coming months.
A review by the drugs watchdog the MHRA found that by the end of March 79 out of 20million Britons vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine had suffered deadly blood clots in the brain or arteries, a rate of about one in 250,000. Nineteen of the cases died and three were under the age of 30.
The MHRA insisted there was still no concrete proof that the British-made vaccine is causing the clots, but admitted the link was getting firmer.
Britons over that age are still being advised to get the vaccine because the risk of Covid far outweighs the chance of developing the extremely conditions. But regulators said the balance of benefits and risks was ‘more finely balanced’ in younger people.
A review by the European Medicines Agency’s safety committee concluded today that ‘unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects’ of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Leaked delivery schedules reveal the Government is expecting AstraZeneca’s vaccine to make up 75 per cent of its Covid jab supplies over the next two months. The document, published on the Scottish Government’s website in January and quickly taken down, showed Britain was anticipating about 29.4m doses of AstraZeneca’s jab between April and the first week of June. By comparison, officials expected just 8.5m of Pfizer’s vaccine in the next two months and 1m of the new Moderna jab, which is being rolled out for the first time in Wales today