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Why the UK changed covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine advice to under 30

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The UK limits the use of the Oxford / AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine in some age groups

Marco Passaro / Shutterstock

Today, the United Kingdom has effectively restricted the use of the Oxford / AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine to people over the age of 30. Rare risk of thrombotic syndrome.. However, other European countries and Canada have higher age restrictions and broader restrictions. Why are the regulations different? And what are the implications for vaccine deployment in the UK?

What are the safety concerns regarding the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine?
UK and European drug regulators are investigating a small number of people who develop blood clots associated with low levels of platelets (usually small particles in the blood that help coagulation) shortly after receiving the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine. I will. Both now conclude that the vaccine may be the cause, but for most people the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk of catching covid-19.

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How do people under the age of 30 need to weigh the pros and cons?
Healthy people under the age of 30 have a low risk of catching covid-19, but young people may also have a slightly higher incidence of thrombotic conditions. As such, the UK Joint Commission on Immunization and Immunization (JCVI) states that this equation is “more finely balanced” for this group. This means that for people under the age of 30, the vaccine is a little more likely to cause a clotting reaction than it is to avoid the serious illness caused by covid-19.

Why are other countries setting high age limits?
Canada and France have restricted Oxford / AstraZeneca jabs to 55 and over, Germany has set the bar to 65 and Iceland has set it to 70. In these countries, blood clots are commonly found in middle-aged people, so vaccines should be withheld under a certain age until we know more. In contrast, JCVI today released the results of a detailed analysis comparing the risk of suspicious blood clots with the risk of covid-19 aggravation in all age groups in the 10-year band. This is why the Commission has set an age limit of 30 years.

How does this affect people under the age of 30?
Jonathan Bantam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom, said at a press conference on April 7 that alternatives would be offered to people under the age of 30 in the United Kingdom. COVID-19 A Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna vaccine that began to be used in the UK this week. He said this should not delay their vaccination more than a few weeks, as the UK should have enough supplies for jabs under the age of 30 to be offered.

“Depending on availability, the overall timing impact of the program should be zero or negligible,” Vantam said, adding that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is likely to be available someday.

What about people over the age of 30 who haven’t been vaccinated yet?
JCVI categorically claims that the benefits outweigh the risks of these elderly groups because blood clots are so rare. Of the more than 20 million Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines, 79 have been reported in the UK by the end of March, accounting for four-millionths. The breakdown by age group has not been announced.

Are women at higher risk?
Apparently not. More cases of blood clots have been reported in women – 51 of 79 cases in the United Kingdom. However, it seems that this vaccine was given to more women. Most healthcare professionals and long-term care facility staff are women. “There is really no difference between men and women in terms of incidence, depending on the number of vaccines given,” said Munir Pilmohamed, chairman of the British Human Medical Commission.

What about people under the age of 30 who have already been vaccinated with the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine once?
According to JCVI, you need to have a second one when the deadline comes. People under the age of 30 who had already received the first dose were prioritized because of their high risk for medical reasons or occupation. In short, their risk level is higher than the average person in their twenties, so the risk-profit equation goes back towards getting a jab.In addition, there is still no evidence of mixing safety or efficacy. Vaccine type.. “If we sail to a zone without evidence [made] That’s a change, “says Anthony Hahnden, Vice Chairman of JCVI.

What are the causes of these blood clots?
Still do not know. Thrombosis, referred to by German scientists as vaccine-induced thrombosis-promoting immune platelet hypoplasia or VIPIT, can be accompanied by an immune response to vaccine-induced platelets. Perhaps the antibodies made against the vaccine also respond to proteins on the surface of platelets, speculates Beverley Hunt, medical director at Thrombosis UK.

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Why the UK changed covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine advice to under 30

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