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Covid: More than enough vaccines for under-30s, says Hancock Covid: More than enough vaccines for under-30s, says Hancock
(32 minutes later)
The UK has more than enough supply of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs to vaccinate all adults under 30, the health secretary has said.The UK has more than enough supply of the Pfizer and Moderna jabs to vaccinate all adults under 30, the health secretary has said.
The UK drugs regulator says people aged 18 to 29 should be offered an alternative vaccine due to evidence linking AstraZeneca jabs to blood clots.The UK drugs regulator says people aged 18 to 29 should be offered an alternative vaccine due to evidence linking AstraZeneca jabs to blood clots.
Matt Hancock said the UK is on track to vaccinate all adults by 31 July.Matt Hancock said the UK is on track to vaccinate all adults by 31 July.
He said 8.5 million adults under-30s had not yet been vaccinated.He said 8.5 million adults under-30s had not yet been vaccinated.
Mr Hancock said the AstraZeneca jab remained safe but if adults under 30 wanted "to have Pfizer or Moderna that's fine".Mr Hancock said the AstraZeneca jab remained safe but if adults under 30 wanted "to have Pfizer or Moderna that's fine".
There is "more than enough of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine" for the 8.5m people under 30 who are yet to be vaccinated in the UK to have two doses, he said. There is "more than enough of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine" for the 8.5 million people under 30 who are yet to be vaccinated in the UK to have two doses, he said.
Matt Hancock says there are "more than enough" alternatives to the AstraZeneca vaccine for the under-30s
Those who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca jab should take up the offer of a second dose as there was "no evidence" of rare blood clots after two shots, he added.
How do you weigh up the risks of the AZ vaccine?How do you weigh up the risks of the AZ vaccine?
Which Covid vaccines are available around the world?Which Covid vaccines are available around the world?
When will I get my Covid jab?When will I get my Covid jab?
The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there was no proof the vaccine had caused the clots but the link was getting firmer, while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have said the benefits of the jab outweighed the risks.The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said there was no proof the vaccine had caused the clots but the link was getting firmer, while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have said the benefits of the jab outweighed the risks.
By the end of March 79 people suffered rare blood clots after vaccination, with 19 of those dying.By the end of March 79 people suffered rare blood clots after vaccination, with 19 of those dying.
Mr Hancock said people could have confidence in the safety system with regulators "able to spot this extremely rare event", adding "all drugs have side effects".
He said Covid was a "horrible disease" and long Covid affected people in their 20s "just a much" as any other age group, sometimes with "debilitating side effects that essentially ruin your life".
"It is not just the benefit to all of us as individuals it's the benefit to the whole society from all of us getting the jab," he added.
As of Tuesday more than 31.7 million people have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK.As of Tuesday more than 31.7 million people have received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK.
Prof Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), said that both the regulators had said the AstraZeneca jab could continue to be used in all age groups.
But he said the committee, which advises the government on the vaccine rollout, had decided it felt more comfortable if the under-30 age group - which is at lower risk from Covid - was offered an alternative option.
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