Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine
New guidance has been issued for the use of the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
This follows further reviews by the independent regulator, the MHRA, and the Commission for Human Medicines, of a very small number of people in the UK who have developed a rare blood-clotting condition since having the Oxford AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine.
The MHRA and Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations have emphasised that the risk of this condition is extremely small and that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people. They have recommended that:
- Everyone who has had the AstraZeneca vaccine should still have a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, irrespective of age, unless they have had a blood clot or have an existing risk of thrombosis (blood clotting)
- People aged 30 and over or who have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease should still be offered the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The benefits in protecting them against the serious consequences of COVID-19 outweigh any risk of this rare condition.
- People aged 18-29 who do not have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe Covid-19 disease will be offered an alternative Covid-19 vaccine where available. (This has been recommended as a precaution as people under 30 are at less risk from Covid-19 and not because they are considered to be at particular risk of developing the rare blood clot.)
- People under 30 can still choose to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if this will mean they can be protected more quickly and they have been made aware of the guidance.
Please see the leaflet below that has been produced by Public Health England and the NHS to answer any questions you may have
Leaflet on COVID-19 vaccination and blood clotting
Please do not contact your GP for a COVID-19 vaccine, until you receive an invitation from the surgery.
The first phase of the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme has started. When it is the right time you will receive an invitation to come forward. For most people this will be a letter or text message, either from your GP or the national NHS. This will include all the information you will need to book appointments. Please do not contact the NHS to get an appointment until you get this invitation. Information on the vaccine is available on here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine/
Who will get a vaccine?
The vaccine will be offered to those most at risk from COVID19 first, starting with people living in care homes and those over 80 years old. This is based on the guidance from the Joint Committee for Vaccinations and Immunisations which is available here. Currently, it advises that it should then be offered to people with high or medium risk clinical conditions and those aged between 50 and 80. This will be done in a phased approach in line with national guidance. Please rest assured we will contact you as soon as your are eligible.
We will share further information with you as it becomes available. In the meantime, unless you receive an invite, please could we kindly ask you not to contact the practice for information about the vaccine as it may stop someone who needs urgent medical help getting through to us.