This site is intended for healthcare professionals only

COVID-19: Under-30s to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca vaccine

Written by: | Published:

The vaccine is still regarded as safe The vaccine is still regarded as safe, and the move is a precautionary one

Patients aged 29 and under will be offered a different vaccine to the AstraZeneca jab, due to a small risk of blood clots, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has announced.

The announcement was made after a review by the UK drugs regulator found that by the end of March 79 people had suffered rare blood clots after vaccination, 19 of whom had died. The regulator said this was not proof the jab had caused the clots.

Read more: Half possess COVID-19 antibodies in the UK

‘Over 37 million doses of vaccines against COVID-19 have now been administered in the UK, saving thousands of lives through the biggest vaccination programme that has ever taken place in the UK,’ said Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive.

‘No effective medicine or vaccine is without risk. We continually monitor safety during widespread use of any vaccine. This is to ensure vaccines are performing as expected, to identify any new side effects that may arise, and to ensure the benefits continue to outweigh the risks.’

According to the review, the 79 cases and 19 deaths occurred after 20 million doses were administered, giving a risk of about four in one million of developing a blood clot, and one in a million of dying. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of the cases of rare clots were seen in women, while the people who died were aged between 18 and 79, with three of them aged under 30.

Read more: More than a million more people invited for COVID-19 vaccine

‘Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination,’ said a government spokesperson.

‘The Government will follow today’s updated advice, which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible. When people are called forward, they should get their jab. Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against COVID-19.’

The MHRA has also stated that pregnancy predisposes to thrombosis, therefore women should discuss with their healthcare professional whether the benefits of having the vaccine outweigh the risks for them.

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

This material is protected by MA Healthcare Ltd copyright.
See Terms and Conditions.



Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code

Read a free issue from Practice Nursing

Register to read a free issue from our sister publication, Practice Nursing.

Including articles on asthma, diabetes and more. Read your copy.


Sign up to the newsletter


Independent Nurse is the professional resource for primary care and community nurses, providing clinical articles for practice nurses and prescribers.


Subscribe to our newsletter and stay up to date with the latest nursing news.

Stay Connected

Stay social with Independent Nurse by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or connecting on LinkedIn.


Need access to some of our older articles? You can view our archive, or alternatively contact us.

Contact Us

MA Healthcare Ltd.
St Jude's Church, Dulwich Road
London, SE24 0PB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7738 5454
Registered in England and Wales No. 01878373

Meet the team


Find out how to contribute to Independent Nurse here.