The UK is also holding back on AstraZeneca vaccines. After the emergence of other cases of thrombosis and the blocking of the vaccine produced by Oxford also by other nations, yesterday the government medical scientific commission met to evaluate what to do. In the evening, Professor Van Tam, deputy head of the British commission, said that where possible an alternative vaccine will be offered to subjects under the age of thirty, at least until the composition is changed in order to avoid such serious side effects. . The “change of course”, as the decision has been defined, according to Van Tam should have virtually no impact on the British vaccination plan, which is proceeding at full speed. In Britain, as of March 31, 79 cases of thrombosis have been revealed – some of these, but not all, to the brain – and of these 19 have proved fatal. In three cases they were people who were less than thirty years old. Of the 79 cases, 51 were women and only 18 were men. The recommendation to offer another vaccine to younger categories is determined by the fact that for this age group even the risks deriving from Covid 19 are much lower than for the elderly.
According to June Raine, head of MHRA, the authority that controls and regulates vaccine products, the risk of harmful side effects such as thrombosis is still very low and the commission has not yet confirmed that the person responsible for these episodes is the vaccine. “The evidence that goes in this direction is consolidating – explained Raine – and this tells us that a correlation between the vaccine and blood clots is reasonably plausible. However, we still need to work a lot to get a complete scientific understanding of this new constellation of symptoms and to have definitive proof of a cause-and-effect relationship ”.
To journalists who asked why the British government had not decided to offer an alternative vaccine to middle-aged subjects as Canada did, the commission replied that each country makes its own decisions and that the United Kingdom has taken the his own, taking into account the current situation, the variants in circulation in the country, the number of people already vaccinated and the vaccination supplies available to the government.
Regarding the alternatives available, at the moment you can choose to use the Pfizer vaccine, while for the one produced by Moderna you will have to wait a few more weeks. The scientific committee confirmed that it has also ordered a quantity of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, for which a single dose is required, but does not know when it will be available. In the UK, more than 31 million people have received the first dose of the vaccine and 5.5 million are already on the second. Infections continue to decline and yesterday there were 2,763 new cases.