In today’s government briefing on the current vaccination program, quite a change in policy was announced. One of the main changes is that the UK vaccine advisory body has said that the under-30s are to be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine when offered a jab.
Professor Jonathan Van Tam has praised the enormous success of the current program but has acknowledged it requires a “course correction”. This follows concerns expressed over the cases of blood clots in rare cases. This follows confirmation that in the period up to 31 March, at which point 20 million doses of the AZ vaccine were administered, 79 cases of rare blood clots were reported. Sadly, in 19 of these cases, the patient involved died.
Professor Wei Shen, chairman of the Joint Committee Vaccination and Immunisation is quoted as saying that the advice to swap the AZ vaccine for younger age groups was “really out of the utmost caution” rather than “any serious safety concerns.
During this afternoon’s briefing, the following guidance was also given:-
• Pregnant women should continue to discuss with their doctor whether the benefit of having the vaccine outweighs the risks.
• People with a history of blood disorders that increase the risk of blood clotting should only have the AstraZeneca jab where benefits outweigh potential risks.
• People who experience clots after the first dose should not receive the second dose.
It is also reported that the European medicines regulator, the EMA, is updating its findings, having concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of the vaccine.
Earlier today, and in contrast to warnings above, it was confirmed that the first vaccinations using the new Modena vaccine were to commence in South Wales, the first being in Ammanford, a town in Carmarthenshire. A care worker of 24 was reported to have received this vaccine.

Source: BBC News