PEOPLE under the age of 30 should be offered an alternative to the ASRTRAZENECA coronavirus vaccine, regulators have warned.
Experts have recommended that younger Brits should be given an alternative – but if you've not yet had a vaccine, what jab will you get instead?
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People aged 18-29 will be given an alternative vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna after clotting cases throughout Europe.
This afternoon the EMA concluded that “unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects” of the jab.
The UK's regulatory body, the MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency), met today to discuss the blood clot risks and what age groups the jab should be given to.
Experts had earlier suggested the rollout to under-50s should also be halted amid fears of the unusual side-effects, but concern is largely for younger people.
The MHRA previously stressed the risk was “very small” and the benefits of the vaccines against Covid outweigh any risks”.
It comes after an official from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) yesterday revealed there was a link between blood clots and the jab.
Today it was also announced that trials on kids and teenagers would be paused until the regulators had learnt more about the possibility of blood clots.
The MHRA revealed on Friday that the UK has seen 30 blood clot cases in people who received 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".
So far in the UK over 31.6 million people have had a first dose of either the Oxofrd/AstraZeneca jab or the Pfizer/BioNtech jab with over 5.4 million also having had a second.
Here are the other vaccines that are currently being rolled out in the UK.
Today it was revealed that the Moderna jab had finally made its way to the UK and that rollout would start today in West Wales.
Britain has secured 17 million doses, which were given the green-light by medicines regulator the MHRA back in January.
The US jab was always expected in the "spring" but yesterday Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi played down their imminent arrival.
He had said he expected doses to go into arms "around the third week of April", with "more volume" expected by May.
Ministers have warned that April will see a slow down of the inoculation against the dead virus, but the 500,000 batch of Moderna will help keep the numbers ticking over until more stocks of AstraZeneca and Pfizer arrive.
The jab is 94 per cent effective against Covid-19.
Elle Taylor, 24, from Ammanford in Carmarthenshire, said she was "very excited and happy" to get her first dose of the American made vaccine.
Moderna's jab was trialled on more than 30,000 people.
It was also trialled on those most at risk of severe illness from Covid, including the elderly and ethnic minority groups – offering a boost that the vulnerable will be protected from the deadly bug.
Analysis from the Phase 3 study of the jab revealed that the vaccine can prevent Covid-19, including severe disease.
It stated that the jab was 94 per cent effective.
Dr Michael Head, a senior research fellow in Global Health at the University of Southampton, said when the Moderna jab arrives in the UK it will "help to ease any bottlenecks or delays in the administration programme".
He added: "The early administrations in other countries such as the USA have been successful with no significant issues raised in terms of safety.”
Millions of Brits have already received the Pfizer/BionTech jab as it was the first to have been rolled out in the UK.
Analysis from Public Health England found the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine reduces the risk of catching infection by more than 70 per cent after a first dose.
That risk is reduced by 85 percent after a second dose.
The study of real-world data also showed vaccinated people who go on to become infected are far less likely to die or be hospitalised.
Hospitalisation and death from Covid-19 is reduced by over 75 per cent in those who have received a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, according to the analysis.
And Public Health England called that “the lower end of the estimate”.
Pooled data on both vaccines shows that in the over-80s — the highest risk group for Covid deaths — the chances of needing a stay in hospital fell by 81 per cent.
Meanwhile, separate research following 23,324 NHS workers suggests a single dose of the Pfizer jab was enough to cut virus transmission by around 70 per cent.
And two doses resulted in 85 per cent fewer positive swabs among frontline NHS staff.
Data released by Pfizer last month revealed that vaccine effectiveness was at least 97 per cent against symptomatic Covid-19 cases, hospitalisations, severe and critical hospitalisations, and deaths.
It also found that a vaccine effectiveness of 94 per cent against asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections.
For all outcomes, vaccine effectiveness was measured from two weeks after the second dose.
OTHER JABS THAT COULD BE AVAILABLE IN THE UK
As well as the vaccines mentioned above- there are jabs from other manufacturers that the UK has on order.
In total, the UK now has a catalogue of 407 million doses of Covid vaccines, the majority of which were bought last year in the hope at least one vaccine candidate would be proven to work.
Experts yesterday revealed that the Novavax jab could be ready for use in the UK within weeks.
Professor Paul Heath, chief investigator for the Novavax jab trial in the UK, said it would help keep up the “momentum” of the vaccine programme.
He told the Evening Standard: “The regulator will do a very detailed and thorough review and will decide in good time.
“I would hope it would be in the spring, possibly end of April.”
How many vaccines has the UK ordered?
- 40 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech
- 100 million doses of Oxford
- 60 million doses of Novavax
- 30 million doses from Janssen
- 100 million doses of Valneva
- 60 million doses from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Sanofi Pasteur
- 17 million doses of Moderna
Regulators at the MHRA have been conducting a “rolling review” of the two-dose jab since it went into clinical trials.
Results of the trials revealed the jab is astonishingly almost 100 per cent effective at preventing severe Covid disease, including death.
Prof Heath said it is also 85 per cent effective against the Kent variant, which is dominant in the UK.
But its efficacy reduced to 60 per cent against mild, moderate or severe disease, where most cases were the South African variant.
The UK has 60 million doses of the jab on order.
It also has 30 million doses ordered of the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson jab which has finished trials and is awaiting approval.
It is thought the first of these game-changing shots will be going into people's arms by July at the earliest.
Although only one jab is needed, anyone getting the Janssen vaccine would still need to be careful for three weeks to allow the antibody response to properly develop.
It is not a case of being instantly protected the same day you get your shot.
The GlaxoSmithKline jab is still in early trials and the UK has 60 million on order as well as 50 million doses of CureVac – which have not yet been made.
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