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World 'Full speed ahead' for vaccine rollout - but 18 to 29-year-olds to be offered alternative to Oxford jab

06:45  08 april  2021
06:45  08 april  2021 Source:   news.sky.com

Young Australians' hopes for an overseas holiday could be dashed

  Young Australians' hopes for an overseas holiday could be dashed Australia had been aiming to open its international borders beyond New Zealand from the end of October when every citizen was expected to receive at least their first vaccine dose. But that timeline is now almost impossible to meet following Thursday's announcement the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine - which Australia had purchased the most doses of - was no longer recommended for under 50s, only the Pfizer jab.

Boris Johnson has said the roadmap out of lockdown will not be affected by the decision to offer 18 to 29-year-olds an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

a man wearing a suit and tie: Boris Johnson is pictured in Truro on Wednesday © PA Boris Johnson is pictured in Truro on Wednesday

The prime minister added that "nothing he has seen" from government scientists on the possible link between this jab and rare blood clots suggests that plans to ease restrictions will need to be changed.

graphical user interface, application: The 20-29 age group is at the lowest risk of being admitted to ICU with COVID but the highest risk from serious harm due to the AstraZeneca vaccine (still relatively low) © Other The 20-29 age group is at the lowest risk of being admitted to ICU with COVID but the highest risk from serious harm due to the AstraZeneca vaccine (still relatively low)

On Wednesday, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced that 18 to 29-year-olds should be offered an alternative to Oxford-AstraZeneca when it comes to getting vaccinated.

Australia's rollout of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will NOT be paused

  Australia's rollout of AstraZeneca Covid vaccine will NOT be paused Australia's rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine will continue despite growing fears the jab could be related to a blood clotting condition reported in some patients. Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd has dismissed suggestions the vaccine poses any serious threat and the government's medical advice remains unchanged despite a man being hospitalised with a rare blood clotting condition after receiving it.

The new advice is based on the UK regulator's findings that the COVID-19 vaccine is linked to "extremely rare and unlikely to occur" blood clots with lower platelets.

It comes after 79 people developed blood clots after receiving the jab up until 31 March.

Nineteen of them - including three people under 30 - later died.

According to the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), 51 of them were women, and 28 were men.

Speaking on a visit to Newquay Airport in Cornwall, Mr Johnson sought to reassure the public that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, and urged people who have already had their first jab to make sure they go for their second when they are called to do so.

graphical user interface, application: For those at medium risk of exposure to COVID-19, the risk of serious harm from the vaccine is the highest for 20-29 year olds © Other For those at medium risk of exposure to COVID-19, the risk of serious harm from the vaccine is the highest for 20-29 year olds

"It's pretty clear that the decline in the number of deaths, the decline in the number of hospitalisations is being fuelled… by the rollout of the vaccines," he said.

Health boss admits he has NO idea if Covid vaccine causes blood clots

  Health boss admits he has NO idea if Covid vaccine causes blood clots In March more than a dozen countries suspended the AstraZeneca jab after a handful of European patients suffered brain blockages that can cause strokes. Germany is still banning the vaccine for under 60s amid fears the clots are more prominent in young people, particularly young women.

"And so it is very important for everybody to continue to get your jab when you're asked to do it and to get your second jab when you're asked to to come forward for your turn."

Speaking at a Downing Street news briefing on Wednesday evening, England's deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam insisted that the new guidance is only a "course correction".

graphical user interface, application: Even those at the highest exposure risk to COVID-19 are at the most serious harm from vaccines in the youngest adult age group © Getty Even those at the highest exposure risk to COVID-19 are at the most serious harm from vaccines in the youngest adult age group

He said it should have "negligible" to no impact on the "very successful" vaccine rollout, insisting it will continue "full speed ahead".

Professor Van-Tam claimed it is "quite normal" for medics to change their preferences on how to treat patients and that the "benefits continue to outweigh risks" for all other age groups.

Doctor reveals 'worrying' symptoms to look for after AstraZeneca jab

  Doctor reveals 'worrying' symptoms to look for after AstraZeneca jab One of Australia's leading doctors has revealed the warning signs people need to look out for after a man was hospitalised with a rare blood clotting condition after he received the AstraZeneca jab.Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd addressed concerns surrounding the vaccine on Friday.

The family of a man who died of a blood clot after getting the Oxford jab has also urged the public not to lose confidence.

Neil Astles, 59, died in hospital on Easter Sunday after getting his first dose on 17 March, The Daily Telegraph reported.

His wife Dr Alison Astles told the newspaper: "If we all have the vaccine, a few of us might have a blood clot but the evidence is that fewer people will die.

"We trust the process, we trust the regulator, and despite what has happened to our family, we don't want people to be scared off. That's the message we want to get across."

When asked about the likelihood of getting a blood clot after a vaccine, MHRA head Dr June Raine said: "The risk is four people in a million."

Regulators in the UK and the EU have requested AstraZeneca lists the "extremely rare potential side effect" on the vaccine's labels, but the firm is "actively collaborating" with them.

Dr Raine said anybody suffering the following side effects four days after getting a jab should seek medical attention:

• Headaches

• Blurred vision

• Shortness of breath

• Chest pain

• Leg swelling

• Abdominal pain

• Bruising or pinpoint spots beyond the vaccination site

The JCVI has said people of any age who have received the first dose of the Oxford vaccine should continue to be offered the second dose on schedule.

JCVI chairman Professor Wei Shen Lim said: "We are advising a preference of one vaccine over another vaccine for a particular age group out of utmost caution rather than any serious safety concerns."

He added that people who are just over 29-years-old should make their decision, but getting the vaccine is much safer than not getting it.

The development comes after several European countries halted the rollout of the Oxford jab over concerns about blood clots in the elderly.

Europe's regulator has now concluded the benefits of the vaccine outweigh risks for older age groups.

Covid vaccine rollout bungle sees jabs sent to GPs but no syringes .
GP clinics across Sydney have finally received their long-awaited doses to vaccinate patients - but are being forced to use their own supply of syringes and needles. One doctor claims she was told by the federal health department that it had 'run out' of syringes while another was told they were on backorder.Bondi Junction-based Sapphire Family Medical Practice owner Dr Dasha Fielder says using their own supply of syringes isn't sustainable.

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