Most UK adults under the age of 40 years old will be offered an alternative coronavirus vaccine to the one manufactured by AstraZeneca, the Government has announced.
Previously, the vaccine had been restricted to people over the age of 30 due to concerns over links to rare blood clots – though following new advice from the JCVI, the Government has announced that most adults aged 30-39 will also be offered an alternative jab.
According to the regulator, there have been 49 deaths related to rare blood clots linked with the vaccine. To date, around 28,5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered.
Commenting on the update to the UK’s vaccination rollout, a Government spokesperson said;
“The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives in the UK and around the world.
“As the MHRA – the UK’s independent regulator – and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.
“The government will follow today’s updated advice, which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 40 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible, and only if doing so does not cause a substantial delay in accessing a vaccination.”
The Government has said it still expects to meet its target of offering a coronavirus vaccine to all adults by the end of July.
To date, around 66.6% of the UK adult population have had their first coronavirus vaccine dose, while 31.8% have had two doses.