UK considering stopping Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine roll-out in under-30
London, April 6, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Britain’s The roll-out of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK could potentially be stopped for younger adults amid fears it could be linked to a rare type of blood clot.
Channel 4 News reported that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was considering proposals to restrict the use of that specific vaccine in younger people.
They said that a decision could be made as early as tomorrow, April 6. MHRA chief executive Dr June Raine said: ‘People should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so.
In total, 30 people out of 18 million vaccinated by 24 March had these clots.
It is still not clear if they are just a coincidence or a genuine side effect of the vaccine.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency says the benefits continue to outweigh any risk.
“Two senior sources have told this programme that while the data is still unclear there are growing arguments to justify offering younger people – below the age of 30 at the very least – a different vaccine,” the broadcaster reported.
The UK’s regulator, the MHRA, has previously said the benefits of the vaccine in the prevention of COVID-19 far outweigh any possible risk of blood clots.
Earlier on Monday, ‘Professor Lockdown’ Neil Ferguson, a former member of government advisory group SAGE, said the development of blood clots in people who had been given the vaccine raised fresh questions over whether young people should be given a jab.
He told Today: ‘In terms of the data at the moment, there is increasing evidence that there is a rare risk associated, particularly with the AstraZeneca vaccine but it may be associated at a lower level with other vaccines, of these unusual blood clots with low platelet counts.
‘It appears that risk is age related, it may possible be – but the data is weaker on this – related to sex. ‘And so the older you are, the less the risk is and also the higher the risk is of Covid so the risk-benefit equation really points very much towards being vaccinated.
‘I think it becomes slightly more complicated when you get to younger age groups where the risk-benefit equation is more complicated.’
Prof Ferguson said the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) were ‘considering this matter very urgently’ but added: ‘No vaccine, no medicine is risk free – it is always about a balancing equation against risk.’
Channel 4 News reported that a decision could see younger people offered a different type of vaccine – and stressed that the MHRA had not yet taken a position on the issue.
The MHRA did not immediately respond to a comment on the Channel 4 report.