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Under-30s To Be Offered Alternative To Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine

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Under-30s To Be Offered Alternative To Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine

People under the age of 30 are to be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine due to evidence linking it to extremely rare blood clots.

After a review by the UK drugs regulator MHRA it was discovered that 79 people in the UK suffered from the rare blood clots following their vaccination with the AZ jab, of whom 19 died.

The regulator stated that this is not proof of the vaccine causing the clots.

While the MHRA said that there is no proof to date that the jabs are responsible for the blood clots, the organisation did confirm that the link is becoming stronger.

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It also confirmed that the side effects are extremely rare and the efficacy of the vaccine has been proven.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

That means that the benefits of taking the vaccine vastly outweigh the risks from blood clots to those who've had it.

However, the MHRA did concede that this is less so with younger people, for whom the risk of becoming seriously ill with Covid-19 is drastically lower.

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That led the JCVI - the government's advisory group on vaccines - to recommend that anyone getting a jab between the ages of 18 and 29 should be offered an alternative, where available.

Those who have already received a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should still get their second dose, and only those who suffered from blood clots after receiving their first dose should not get vaccinated, according to the MHRA.

People with existing blood disorders that place them at a higher risk of blood clots should have a conversation about the risks and benefits of vaccination, the MHRA added.

Of those who suffered the blood clots, around two thirds were women, and those who died were between the ages of 18 and 79.

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Speaking at a press conference, Professor Jonathan Van Tam said there is a 'change of course, a course correction if you will' to the UK's vaccination programme.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Dr June Raine went on to explain that 20 million doses of the AZ vaccine have now been administered in the UK, and added that no medicine or vaccine is without risk.

Raine said that while clinical trials do pick up common side effects, often rare side effects can't be determined until large amounts of people have been vaccinated.

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However, she said there is a 'strong possibility' that these incredibly rare side effects - around four in one million - are caused by the vaccine.

Raine said that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for 'the vast majority of people'.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News, vaccine, Coronavirus, Health, Covid-19

Tom Wood
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