Under 30s in England are to be offered a vaccine other than the Oxford/AstraZeneca one due to concerns about blood clotting.

A review by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the body that approves vaccines for use in the UK, has found mounting evidence linking the jab to rare blood clots.

Its findings mean that people aged 18 to 29 will be offered an alternative vaccine where possible - either Pfizer or Moderna.

However, people in that age group that have already had one dose of the Oxford jab should still get their second.

Up to March 31, the MHRA has received 79 reports of blood clots accompanied by low blood platelet count, all in people who had their first dose of the vaccine.

Of these 79, a total of 19 people have died, although it has not been established what the cause was in every case.

The 79 cases occurred in 51 women and 28 men, aged from 18 to 79.

Of the 19 who died, three were under the age of 30, the MHRA said.

The MHRA has concluded that the balance of risk for the vaccine is “very favourable for older people” but more finely balanced for younger groups.

The UK regulator stressed that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine continue to outweigh any risks for most people and that the jab is effective in preventing Covid-19 and serious disease.

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