The MHRA has today announced that people under the age of 30 in the UK will be offered the Pfizer or new Moderna vaccine going forward rather than the AstraZeneca vaccine.
As you know, all vaccines and indeed medicines have side effects, and the chances of someone developing a blood clot having had the AstraZeneca jab remains very small: 4 in 1 million.
To set this in context, a study in the British Medical Journal in 2015 found 6 in 10,000 women who are taking the combined birth control pill levonorgestrel will develop a blood clot (this combined pill had the lowest incidence of blood clots that they examined).
I think it’s worth looking at the comparison with the contraceptive pill. This is not to distract or to diminish the vaccine risk, but to remind people that everyday medicines, also carry risks.
The guidance remains that anyone who has already received their first AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of AstraZeneca, regardless of their age. This is except for the small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.
I will be taking the vaccine when it is my turn and I would be happy to take the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
I mentioned earlier how well the vaccine programme is doing. More than 37 million jabs overall have already been administered, the vaccination programme is saving lives – so far Public Health England analysis shows at least 6,100 deaths in those aged 70 and older in England have been prevented up to the end of February.
You are clever cats so if you have concerns or questions about the vaccines - please read the NHS or MHRA websites. Do not start scrolling through the Wild West of the tinternet.