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Wed Apr 7, 2021, 06:56 PM

Vaccine confidence fears as under-30s in UK offered AstraZeneca alternative

Source: The Guardian

Experts warned of damage to confidence in the UK’s vaccine programme after 10 million adults under 30 were told they will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab following concerns over rare blood clots.

Healthy 18- to 29-year-olds who are not at high risk of Covid should have the option of a different jab if one is available in their area, the government’s joint committee on vaccines and immunisation (JCVI) said, weeks after some European countries suspended the use of Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs in younger people.

For older people, the benefits of the vaccine – the most widely used in the UK – far outweigh the risks, the JCVI added. The UK has recorded 79 rare blood clots cases, 19 of whom died, out of 20m AstraZeneca jabs administered.
In older age groups, the experts believe, the benefits of vaccination significantly outweigh the rare side-effect risk, but in younger people “it is more finely balanced”.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/apr/07/under-30s-in-uk-should-be-offered-alternative-covid-vaccine-to-astrazeneca-jab-says-regulator

In fact, The Guardian graphic (which I can't post here) shows the risk of admission to ICU from Covid (0.8 per 100,000) as less than the risk of serious harm from the AZ vaccine (1.1 per 100,000) for the under 30s - and that's at March virus rates. For 30-39, it's 2.7 for ICU admission and 0.8 for vaccine harm, but I can see that people close to 30 will be put off the AZ vaccine by this. If there's less virus around, the risk of serious covid illness will go down, and the age for whom the AZ vaccine is personally 'worth it' will go up.

FWIW, I had the 1st dose of the AZ vaccine 2 weeks ago, so will get a 2nd jab in 9-10 weeks' time. But I'm over 50.

Graphic from Sky News:


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