You may have seen in the news recently that there have been reports of an extremely rare adverse event of blood clots (concurrent thrombosis) and low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) following vaccination with the first dose of the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine.
Around only 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine doses given
Those who experienced SERIOUS side effects after the first AZ dose should talk to a clinician about their second dose however all others should continue to get their second dose.
It remains safe and effective and you should have it when offered, as the risk of Covid is a vastly higher risk.
The new advice is for people who are aged under 30, where an alternative vaccine is preferred- however the risk of AZ is still extremely low.
If you have already had a first dose of AZ vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, you should complete the course.
This includes people aged 18 to 29 years who are health and social care workers, unpaid carers and family members of those who are immunosuppressed.
Going forward people aged 18-29 should be offered an alternative vaccination where it is available ( Pfizer or Moderna Vaccine) – but this group is not excluded from having the AZ vaccine.
Those who are booked into national booking service who are aged under 30 in cohort 1-9 will have their appointment cancelled and be advised to contact their GP to discuss options around Pfizer if needed.
Those who are pregnant or have a risk of blood clots should also have an initial discussion with their GP.
The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with more than 30 million people vaccinated and more than 6,000 lives already saved.
Colin Cox, Director of Public Health for Cumbria County Council said:
“The announcements about the AstraZeneca vaccine this week may be causing some people concern, but I’d want to reassure people that the vaccine remains very safe and effective and that this is actually our medicines regulation system doing its job.
“Even for younger people the balance of risk is still strongly in favour of vaccination and because we have multiple different vaccines have the flexibility to tweak the programme as issues arise. If I am offered the AstraZeneca vaccine, I will certainly accept it.”