Statement on AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine following MHRA update

A Government spokesperson said:

“The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives.
“As the MHRA – the UK’s independent regulator – and the JCVI have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.

“Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.

“The government will follow today’s updated advice, which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible.

“When people are called forward, they should get their jab. Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against Covid-19.

“We are very grateful for the work of our world-leading regulator and our expert advisors as they continue to address this issue.

“More than 37 million jabs overall have already been administered, and we are on track to offer jabs to all over 50s by 15 April and all adults by the end of July.”

Background

  • Public Health England (PHE) analysis indicates that the COVID-19 vaccination programme prevented 6,100 deaths in those aged 70 and older in England up to the end of February.

  • All safety reports are rigorously investigated and anyone with unexpected symptoms should speak with a healthcare professional.

  • All medicines have a risk of side effects.

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