Those who have already had the first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine should go and get their second dose when asked, the government has said.
An announcement has been issued this evening following the news that under 30s will be offered a different vaccine as the country’s medicines regulator probes reports of rare blood clot side effects.
Government advice is for people, regardless of age, to receive a second dose of the same make as their first dose.
A government spokesman added that the Oxford vaccine was “safe, effective and has already save thousands of lives”.
They added: “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.”
Three under-30s who had the AstraZeneca vaccine jab have died from blood clot complications.
Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said more than 20m doses of the AZ vaccine have been given in the UK.
No effective vaccine or medicine is without risk, she added.
The government spokesman added: “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.
“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.”