UK regulator could restrict use of AstraZeneca vaccine in under-30s
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency stated it was yet to make any decision regarding the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine amid reports that it was considering restricting use of the vaccine in younger people.
Britain's medicines regulatory body was said to be considering the restrictions on Monday due to concerns about it causing rare blood clots, according to Channel 4 News, with a decision set to be made as early as Tuesday.
Channel 4 said: "Two senior sources have told this programme that while the data is still unclear, there are growing arguments to justify offering younger people – below the age of 30 at the very least – a different vaccine."
However, both sources also highlighted their support for the vaccine and acknowledged that the airing of any concerns regarding the jab could potentially damage the public's confidence in it.
The MHRA's chief executive Dr June Raine stated no decision had been made as of yet and also urged Britons to continue getting vaccinated.
"Our thorough and detailed review is ongoing into reports of very rare and specific types of blood clots with low platelets following the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca," she said.
The MHRA has uncovered a total of 30 cases of rare blood clots and seven deaths out of the 18.1m doses of the vaccine administered in the UK prior to 24 March, but scientists have stated that risks associated with not getting vaccinated far outweighing the minuscule chance of experiencing blood clots.
Elsewhere, the European Medicines Agency will rule on Wednesday as to whether or not countries should continue to include the Oxford/AZN jab as part of its vaccine programme, with Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the Netherlands already having paused the vaccine's rollout while the EMA investigation carries on.
As of 0855 BST, AZN shares were down 0.53% at 7,134.0p.