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UK PM sees no change in plan to ease Covid restrictions after AstraZeneca news

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said (AFP)Premium
Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson said (AFP)

  • 'I don't think that anything I have seen leads me to suppose that we will have to change the roadmap or deviate from the roadmap in any way,' says Boris Johnson
  • Meanwhile, England's deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said Blood clot side effects from the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are serious but vanishingly rare

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he did not expect to change the government's plans for relaxing COVID-19 restrictions as health regulators recommended that people aged under 30 should not be given the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine.

"I don't think that anything I have seen leads me to suppose that we will have to change the roadmap or deviate from the roadmap in any way," Johnson said.

Meanwhile, England's deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam said Blood clot side effects from the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are serious but vanishingly rare.

"My final cautionary point for you is that this is a vanishingly rare, but sadly, quite serious adverse event, but it is vanishingly rare, and you can't pick these kinds of things up until you have literally deployed tens of millions of doses of vaccine," he told a news conference.

Earlier today, a UK government committee advising on coronavirus vaccinations on Wednesday recommended offering most people aged under 30 an alternative to the AstraZeneca jab if possible, due to heightened concerns over blood clots.

The change to the country's so far highly successful Covid-19 vaccine programme comes after the medicines regulator reviewed data following dozens of blood clot incidents among people who had received the shot.

"Adults who are aged 18 to 29 years old who do not have an underlying health condition... should be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine in preference to the AstraZeneca vaccine," Wei Shen Lim, of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said at a press conference.

He noted that alternatives, which in Britain are currently vaccines developed by US firm Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, should be offered "if available".

The JCVI advises the UK government on its immunisation strategy, which has seen nearly 37 million Covid-19 vaccine doses delivered -- around 20 million of twhich have been AstraZeneca jabs.

England's deputy chief medical officer Jonathan Van-Tam described the new advice as "a course correction" in the jabs drive.

"There's no question about that, but it is in a sense, in medicine, quite normal for physicians to alter their preferences for how patients are treated over time it's happened with vaccines," he said.

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