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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - LONDON — People under the age of 30 in the United Kingdom will be given an alternative to Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine due to concerns over a very rare risk of blood clots, the government spokesman said in a statement.
The government move comes after a meeting with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the country.
“The government will follow today’s updated advice, which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible,” according to the statement.
MHRA said there are still huge benefits of the vaccine in preventing COVID-19, and has not concluded that the vaccine causes rare clots, although it says the link is getting firmer.
Dr. June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA told a briefing the clots were “extremely rare” and the benefits of the jab were clear.
She said there is a “reasonably plausible” link between the AstraZeneca jab and blood clots.
“The evidence has accrued not only in numbers and kinds of cases but the pattern of those cases," she told the briefing.
“So we feel it’s a much more solid basis in our regulatory world to put in the side effect into our product information and that tells us it is a reasonably plausible link.”
Meanwhile, the UK government has reiterated that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives.
“The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives. “As the MHRA — the UK’s independent regulator — and the JCVI have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.
The government has, however, urged all those who have taken the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to a second dose of the same brand irrespective of their age.
“Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination,” the statement read.
“More than 37 million jabs overall have already been administered, and we are on track to offer jabs to all over the 50s by 15 April and all adults by the end of July,” the statement added.
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