health

Under-40s ‘will now be offered alternative vaccine’ instead of AstraZeneca jab over blood clot fears


PEOPLE under 40 will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab over blood clot fears, it was reported tonight.

The Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a panel of experts which advises the government, is set to announce the guidance on Friday.

People under-40 will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca jab

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People under-40 will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca jabCredit: Will Ireland/PinPep

It is said to have made the decision out of “an abundance of caution” because rates of Covid are so low in the UK.

The UK-made jab carries a “vanishingly small” risk of causing serious brain clots – around seven in a million.

Experts say the risk is massively outweighed by the jab’s benefits for most people, but for the young and healthy the balance is harder to judge.

The JCVI has already recommended that people younger than 30 are offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead.

When to seek help after the jab

The UK’s medicine regulator, the MHRA, says you should seek medical advice if you have had any of these symptoms four days or more after vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine:

  • a new onset of severe or persistent headache
  • blurred vision
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • leg swelling
  • persistent abdominal pain
  • unusual skin bruising or pinpoint round spots beyond the injection site

A senior government source told The Independent: “Because prevalence of Covid is low and given the strength of the programme, it means we’re in a position to act with an abundance of caution and offer a different vaccine to the younger groups.” 

The latest data from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency shows that, up to 28 April, there had been 242 cases of the rare clotting disorder following AstraZeneca jabs, with more than 28million doses administered to date.

The regulator’s chief executive Dr June Raine said: “The benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for most people.

“It is still vitally important that people come forward for their vaccination when invited to do so.

“We ask anyone who suspects they have experienced a side effect linked with their Covid-19 vaccine to report it to the coronavirus Yellow Card website.”

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