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No decision made to restrict AstraZeneca vaccine

AstraZeneca share price down as Holland halts jab

Following reports that the UK’s medicines regulatory body is considering restricting use of the vaccine in younger people, it has now said no decision has been made on a regulatory action relating to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Channel 4 News said yesterday that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) was weighing up the possibility of imposing restrictions following concerns around blood clots.

“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,” the report said.

The two sources did however put their support behind the Oxford jab and said that restricting the roll-out could harm public confidence in it.

The MHRA’s chief executive Dr June Raine yesterday said that no decision had been reached and urged people to keep 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. No decision has yet been made on any regulatory action.”

Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday that the clots raised questions over whether young people should get the jab. 

“There is increasing evidence that there is a rare risk associated particularly with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but it may be associated at a lower level with other vaccines, of these unusual blood clots with low platelet counts,” he said.

“And so the older you are, the less the risk is and also the higher the risk is of Covid, so the risk-benefit equation really points very much towards being vaccinated. I think it becomes slightly more complicated when you get to younger age groups, where the risk-benefit equation is more complicated.”

The AstraZeneca share price is down 0.57% since market opening on Tuesday as the Netherlands became the latest country to stop rolling out the vaccine.

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