Plan to offer alternative Covid jab to under-40s could be reversed

Plan to offer alternative Covid jab to under-40s could be reversed

May 17, 2021

Under-40s could get AstraZeneca vaccine after all: Plan to offer alternative Covid jab could be reversed amid fears over Indian variant

  • Decision to offer under-40s an alternative jab to AstraZeneca could be reversed 
  • Last month, it was said under-40s should get different jab due to blood clot risk 
  • But advice could be changed to protect against Indian variant, it has emerged
  • The revelation comes as the over-35 age bracket will be offered jabs this week

The decision to offer under-40s an alternative jab to AstraZeneca could be reversed in light of the Indian variant, it emerged yesterday.

Last month the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation decided those aged under 30 should get a different jab due to the slightly higher risk of a rare blood clot. 

This advice was later extended to those aged between 30 and 39 ‘if available and if it does not cause delays in having the vaccine’. 

But yesterday, for the first time, experts said this rule could be reversed to help speed up the rollout and protect more people against the Indian variant.

The decision to offer under-40s an alternative jab to AstraZeneca could be reversed to help speed up rollout and protect people against the Indian variant, it has emerged (file image) 

Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol and a member of the JCVI, was asked if the committee would look again at the recommendation that people under 40 should be offered non-AstraZeneca jabs, if it means that it could speed up distribution.

He told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme: ‘Yes absolutely, that’s on the agenda, and if necessary that’s something that could be done.’

He added: ‘If the evidence shows that the risk-benefit balance for people in their 30s is to be offered that vaccine then absolutely that recommendation will be changed.

‘At the moment we don’t think that’s necessary, but it could well become a recommendation in the future.’ 

It comes as the over-35 age group will be offered jabs this week while surge vaccinations are pushed in areas where there are high numbers of cases of the Indian variant.

Meanwhile, it is understood the Government wants to inoculate as many as one million people a day as part of the drive to drastically step up doses.

It comes as the over-35 age group will be offered jabs this week while surge vaccinations are pushed in areas where there are high numbers of cases of the Indian variant (file photo)

Ministers reportedly told MPs they ‘safely’ expect to increase daily injections from 500,000 to 800,000 within a fortnight, with hopes of reaching a peak of a million in the summer.

More than 38 per cent of UK adults have now had two jabs, while more than 69 per cent have received at least one. 

A total of 56,677,012 jabs have now been given and the Government says it is on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July.

The Prime Minister wrote on Twitter yesterday: ‘I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the incredible rollout of this life-saving programme. Please keep coming forward when called.’

It comes as the NHS and YouTube announced a multi-million-pound campaign to remind those aged 18 to 34 how important it is to have a jab, in a bid to encourage vaccine take-up in young people. 

Meanwhile, a further four deaths and 1,926 new cases were reported yesterday. 

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