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Under 30s in UK to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca jab amid concerns over rare blood clots



PHOTO: Flickr

Health officials in the UK have decided that people under the age of 30 will be offered an alternative jab to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The decision comes following a review by the country’s drugs regulator that shows that by the end of last month, a number of people experienced blood clots after receiving the vaccine developed in partnership with Oxford University.

Out of 20 million doses administered, 79 people experienced rare blood clots after inoculation, with 19 of them dying. This indicates a risk factor of 4 in 1 million for developing a blood clot, and 1 in a million of dying.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency insists there is still not enough evidence to indicate that the vaccine caused the blood clots, but that the link is beginning to look more likely. The World Health Organisation describes the link as, “plausible” but still unconfirmed. It says blood clots were very rarely reported among nearly 200 million global recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Meanwhile, according to a BBC report, nearly two-thirds of the patients who developed blood clots were women. Those who died were between the ages of 18 and 79, with 3 under the age of 30. All blood clot incidents were reported after the first dose, but the MHRA says the lower number of second doses administered means no definite conclusions can be inferred from this.

The EU drugs regulator says the AstraZeneca vaccine should list uncommon blood clots as a possible, very rare, side-effect. Some countries in Europe have restricted use of the jab, but the regulator insists the benefits of inoculation outweigh any potential risk.

Earlier this week, Thailand’s Public Health Minister announced that the AstraZeneca jab would be the Kingdom’s first choice of Covid-19 vaccine. The jab is being produced locally by Siam Bioscience, after the organisation signed a technology-transfer deal with AstraZeneca.



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