UK vaccination committee says under-40s should opt for alternative to blood clot-linked AstraZeneca… unless it causes ‘delays’

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The UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that under-40s be vaccinated with an alternative to the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab due to cases of blood clotting – but only if doing so causes no “delays”.

JCVI Chairman Professor Wei Shen Lim said on Friday that “as Covid-19 rates continue to come under control”, the committee is “advising that adults aged 18 – 39 years with no underlying health conditions are offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, if available, and if it does not cause delays in having the vaccine”.

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It is unclear whether this means some young people will only be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine, whose risks are judged by many to outweigh the benefits in the younger population.

Earlier last month, the JCVI revealed that an alternative would be offered to those under the age of 30. However, this has since been raised to those under the age of 40.

As of two weeks ago, at least 168 recipients of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine in the UK had suffered serious blood clots, with at least 32 deaths. Risk of blood clotting is considered to be slightly higher for those who are of a younger age.

After numerous blood clot cases following AstraZeneca shots were detected around the world, several countries temporarily halted its use for certain age groups. Still, the European Medicines Agency insists the vaccine’s benefits outweigh the risks.

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