The statement from the JCVI states:
“Since the start of the pandemic over 4 million COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in the UK causing more than 120,000 deaths. Over 30 million people have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine since the start of the programme, which Public Health England (PHE) estimate has prevented at least 6,000 deaths in the first 3 months of 2021.
There have been reports of an extremely rare adverse event of concurrent thrombosis (blood clots) and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) following vaccination with the first dose of AstraZeneca ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222).
JCVI has weighed the relative balance of benefits and risks and advise that the benefits of prompt vaccination with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine far outweigh the risk of adverse events for individuals 30 years of age and over and those who have underlying health conditions which put them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease.
What this means:
- If you are 29 years of age or younger, and are booked in for a first AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Old Exchange Site next week – we will contact you and offer you an appointment for a Pfizer vaccine at the Old Exchange Site this week instead.
- If you are 29 years of age or younger and have booked through the National Booking System to attend a site elsewhere for a first AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, your appointment will be automatically cancelled, and you will be contacted by them.
- If you are 30 years of age or older and scheduled to receive a first dose of AstraZeneca, vaccination should continue
- If you have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, you should continue to be offered a second dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, irrespective of age.
MHRA are clear that the only individuals who should not have a second dose of AstraZeneca are those set out below:
- ‘Administration of the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in patients with a history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, acquired or hereditary thrombophilia, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia or antiphospholipid syndrome should only be considered when the potential benefit outweighs any potential risks. Patients who have experienced major venous and arterial thrombosis occurring with thrombocytopenia following vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccine should not receive a second dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.’
When you attend the vaccine centre for an Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccination, screening questions will be asked to identify a medical history of any of the above rare conditions. If you do have one of these conditions, the clinician will discuss the best course of action with you.
For further information, please see the following link: Click here for further information