UK medicines regulator MRHA will today give an update on its investigation into whether the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is directly causing rare brain blood clots. The live briefing is being hosted by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.
Regulators in both the UK and Europe are today due to give updates on their investigations into whether the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is linked to rare brain blood clots.
Some European countries have restricted vaccine use in younger people following reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).
CVST are a specific type of clot which prevents blood from draining from the brain, as well as low platelet counts – cells that help blood clot.
On Tuesday, it was announced that the trial of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in children has been paused while UK regulator MHRA investigates the CVST reports.
There have also been reports of CVST cases in Germany and cases of blood clot clusters in Norway, the Netherlands and Denmark but experts say these incidents are rare.
Today Professor Adam Finn, from the University of Bristol and a member of the JCVI, said it was vital to keep the vaccine programme going as society opens up, in order to help stave off rising infection rates.
Some European countries have restricted the AstraZeneca vaccine use in younger people following reports of low platelet counts and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), a specific type of clot which prevents blood from draining from the brain.
Asked if different vaccines could end up being used for certain groups as more vaccine types come on stream, Prof Finn told BBC Breakfast: “That’s certainly possible.
“We are seeing another vaccine coming in (Moderna), and further vaccines are approaching licensure, and I know that the UK has made contracts for quite a wide range of different vaccines.
“As time goes forward, we will have much more flexibility about who can be offered what.
“On the other hand, we do need to keep the programme going if the plan to open things up and allow things to get back to normal is to proceed without another wave of the pandemic coming through.
“So it’s quite a tricky balancing act here, getting the balance right, getting vaccines coming through… getting the risk-benefit right for people coming forward.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been given out alongside the Pfizer vaccine in Britain since the rollout began.
Now the UK has also begun issuing the Moderna vaccine, after securing 17 million doses of the jab.
Like AstraZeneca and Pfizer, the Moderna vaccine requires two doses with a gap of up to 12 weeks between.
Today, Elle Taylor, a 24-year-old unpaid carer for her grandmother, became the first person in the UK to be vaccinated with the Moderna jab.
Across the UK, 31.6 million people have received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine.
And 5.4 million have been given their second dose.
The vaccine rollout is key in the return to normality following more than a year of lockdown restrictions.
The next stage of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap will take place on April 12, with a range of restrictions lifting.
This includes the opening of non-essential shops, barbers, hairdressers and beauty salons.
Published at Wed, 07 Apr 2021 12:11:00 +0000