ASTRAZENECA’S Covid jab could be blocked for people under-30 as soon as tomorrow by the UK’s vaccine regulator.
It comes after concerns have been rising about a small minority of people developing rare cases of blood clots.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) revealed on Friday that the UK as seen 30 blood clot cases in people who recieved the AstraZeneca jab.
Of those, 22 are the rare CVST kind of clot that caused concern in Europe and eight were other thrombosis events.
That is out of 18.1million doses administered in the UK – making it extremely rare at around one in 600,000.
But despite scientists saying that the benefit of vaccination far out weighs the risks of blood clots – there are now fears that the use of the jab in younger people is “more complicated.
Senior sources have told Channel 4 news that there is now growing arguments that Brits below the age of 30 should be offered a different vaccine.
And regulators could meet as soon as tomorrow to discuss safety fears.
The condition called CVST occurred in a small number of patients with low blood platelets and is an extremely rare combination of events.
It’s so rare, UK regulators at the MHRA said they did not know how often it happens in the general population.
No clots have been reported in those given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
And vaccine experts are still urging Brits to take whatever vaccine they are offered.
Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, said: “The benefits of Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca in preventing Covid-19 infection and its complications continue to outweigh any risks and the public should continue to get their vaccine when invited to do so.”
Johannes Oldenburg, a professor of medicine at Bonn university in Germany, told the Financial Times: “If I had a choice between immediate vaccination with AstraZeneca or waiting four weeks for Moderna, then I would choose the AstraZeneca vaccine, because the four weeks of protection far outweighs this risk.”
Oxford university and AstraZeneca say their trials show the vaccine is safe and effective and that they are continuing to monitor for side effects.
Fears over the safety of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab led 20 European countries to suspend vaccinations last month.
Most resumed after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) ruled the vaccine was safe for all ages.
But France and Germany have said it should not be given to younger patients who are thought to be more at risk of clots.
Millions of people across the world have had the cheap and effective AstraZeneca vaccine without any complications.
Regulators have stressed that the benefits of the jab far outweigh any potential risks.
While investigations continue, people have been urged to accept their vaccine offer when it comes.
The Prime Minister today said the soaraway vaccines rollout is to thank for getting Covid under control.
Twice-weekly Covid tests slammed as ‘beyond reckless’ by scientists
And England’s chief medical officer added that it is “vital” that people take up the offer of a second vaccine dose to increase their level of protection against Covid-19.
Professor Chris Whitty explained that data from across the UK showed an estimated 60% reduction in symptomatic disease in those who had been vaccinated.
He added there was also an 80% reduction in hospitalisations among those who had received their first dose.