People in the UK under the age of 30 will no longer be offered the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clotting concerns.
The move comes after a review by the government’s vaccine advisory found 79 people in the UK had suffered from rare blood clots post vaccination by the end of March.
Nineteen of the cases died as a result – three of which were under 30. All of the blood clots occurred after the first dose of the jab was administered.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency (MHPA) says the affected patients were between the ages of 18 and 79, including 51 women and 28 men.
Agency chief executive June Raine says they’re investigating the link between the Covid-19 vaccine and the blood clots reported.
“The evidence is firming up and our review has concluded that, while it’s a strong possibility, more work is needed to establish beyond all doubt that the vaccine has caused these side affects.”
She added during the press conference that public safety is always at the forefront and while blood clots remain extremely rare, she encouraged people to get vaccinated.
“The benefits continue to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.”
Around four per every million people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab developed blood clots, according to MHPA data.
It’s based on 20.2 million people recorded as receiving the jab by 31 March.
The recommendation comes as European regulators ruled unusual blood clots were “very rare side effects”.
At the same time the European Medicines Agency’s safety committee echoed the sentiment, concluding that “unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as a very rare side effect” of the vaccine.
It too emphasised the health benefits of the protection brought by the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab far outweigh the risks.
Taking to twitter, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted the AstraZeneca vaccine is “safe, effective and has already saved thousands”.
Adults between 18 and 30 in Britain will be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna jab instead, while people over 30 will still be offered the AstraZeneca jab.