UNDER-30s to be offered alternative vaccines is ‘right’, the Royal Borough’s health lead said – but stressed the AstraZeneca vaccine is still safe.

The national media reported under-30s in the UK will be offered alternative vaccines to the AstraZeneca jab following concerns of rare blood clots.

By the end of March, the UK’s independent drug regulator, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), found 79 people had suffered rare blood clots after vaccination, with 19 having died.

However, the MHRA said the 79 cases and 19 deaths do not prove the jab had caused the clots after 20 million doses were administered.

Royal Borough councillor Stuart Carroll, lead member for health as well as being an epidemiologist and on the UK vaccine taskforce, said although there’s no established link or evidence that the AstraZeneca vaccine caused the rare clots, it was ‘right’ to offer under-30s alternative vaccines as it will boost vaccine confidence and the UK has enough supply of Pfzier and Moderna jabs.

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He said: “The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine still has an incredible risk-benefit and safety profile – but of course any serious event is worrying and concerning, we’re talking about human beings and any death is tragic.

“However, there is no definitive, established evidence or link at this point. There is a signal and it’s quite right for our independent regulator and our independent recommendation body to square with the public and adopt a principle of precaution.

“Because we’ve done so well in procuring so many vaccines, we’re in a position where we can say because we’ve got enough Pfzier and Moderna, we can actually make the decision in the spirit of being so risk-averse, almost wanting to be totally risk-free, and to ensure that supply is used for the under 30s to eliminate almost every risk all together regardless how small that risk happens to be.”

Cllr Carroll added the chance of getting the blood clot after receiving the AstraZeneca jab is “extremely rare”, adding you more likely to be involved in a severe car accident than get the rare clot.

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Some under 30s may have already received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose due to either being a key worker or having underlining health issues.

Cllr Carroll said their second dose will still be the AstraZeneca vaccine as getting a different booster jab would ‘confuse’ the immune system and getting the same dose would give someone the ‘optimal protection’.

He added: “There have been none of these rare events reported for anybody who has tolerated the first dose, which is the overwhelming majority and we’re talking about millions and millions of people, and there have been no events associated with anybody who has had their second dose.

“I think people can be extremely confident in that regard.”