The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that all under 40s should be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine following blood clot risk
The announcement follows the decision made on the 7th of April to offer a preference for adults aged under 30.
The JCVI has now advised that an alternative vaccine should be offered to adults aged 30 to 39 without underlying health conditions, where available and only if it does not cause delays in being vaccinated.
Those who have already had a first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same jab, irrespective of age, except for the small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.
Professor Wei Shen Lim, COVID-19 Chair for JCVI, said:
“Safety remains our number one priority. We have continued to assess the benefit-risk balance of COVID-19 vaccines in light of UK infection rates and the latest information from the MHRA on the extremely rare event of blood clots and low platelet counts following vaccination.
“As COVID-19 rates continue to come under control, we are advising that adults aged 18 to 39 years with no underlying health conditions are offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, if available and if it does not cause delays in having the vaccine. The advice is specific to circumstances in the UK at this time and maximises use of the wide portfolio of vaccines available.
“The COVID-19 vaccines have already saved thousands of lives and the benefit for the majority of the population is clear – if you are offered the vaccine, you should take it.”
Blood clot symptoms
Anyone who experiences the following symptoms from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination is advised to seek prompt medical advice:
- A severe headache that is not relieved with painkillers or is getting worse
- A headache that feels worse when you lie down or bend over
- A headache that is unusual for you and occurs with blurred vision, feeling or being sick, problems speaking, weakness, drowsiness or seizures
- A rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin
- Shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain