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News > United Kingdom

British Youth To Be Offered Alternative to AstraZeneca Vaccine

  • AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in Cornella, Spain, 2021.

    AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines in Cornella, Spain, 2021. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 8 April 2021

The European Medicines Agency confirmed that the occurrence of blood clots is associated with the administration of this COVID-19 vaccine.

The British Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced that Britons aged 18-29 will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine amid concerns over its possible link with reported rare cases of blood clots.


AstraZeneca: EMA Confirms Blood Clots as Side Effect, 18 Deaths

Previously, the Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the side-effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine were extremely rare, adding that the benefits of taking the vaccine are still very favorable for the vast majority. However, it conceded the new approach is more finely balanced for younger people because the risk from coronavirus is much lower.

The MHRA Chief June Raine said that more than 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been given in Britain up to March 31. Only 79 cases of blood clots were reported in Britain, among them 51 women and 28 men aged 18 to 79 years old. All these 79 cases occurred after the first dose and 19 people sadly died.

She said the risk of this kind of side effect was about four in one million to those who receive the vaccine. While clinical trials allow scientists to assess relatively common effects, rare side effects can only be identified when vaccines are used at scale.

On Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirmed that the occurrence of blood clots with low blood platelets is strongly associated with the administration of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, but should be still listed as very rare side effects.

EMA's Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee made the conclusion after carrying out an in-depth review of the more than 80 cases reported in the European Union (EU) database.

Currently, Britain is also rolling out the Pfizer jab, and the first doses of the Moderna vaccine were administered in Wales on Wednesday. So far, over 31.6 million people in Britain have been given the first jab of a coronavirus vaccine.


June Raine
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