Younger adults appear to be more affected by the rare bleeding disorder associated with the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, according to the UK Medicines Agency.
On rare occasions, people have seen blood clots with low platelets after the bite, prompting the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) to recommend that those under 30 be offered an alternative like the one offered by Pfizer or Moderna at the beginning of April.
Since then, new data from the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) has shown there have been 209 cases of the rare combination of low platelet blood clots in the UK following vaccination with the Oxford / AstraZeneca surge by April 21 – with 41 deaths. That rose from 168 cases and 32 deaths the previous week.
The managing director Dr. June Raine said that no drug or vaccine was safe, but added that the blood clots were still “extremely rare.”
The data showed 23 cases of blood clots in people aged 18 to 29 years old, 27 cases in people aged 30 years old, 30 in people aged 40 years old, 59 in people aged 50 years old, and 57 in people old age from 60 years and over, without the age known in the remaining cases.
Around a quarter of the rare blood clots were in people under 40 and two-thirds in people under 60, the data shows.
This is in contrast to the proportion of people vaccinated. The latest data from NHS England shows that 5.5 million people under the age of 45 had received a first dose by April 25, compared with 22.6 million people aged 45 and over.
The MHRA said the data suggests a higher incidence was reported in the younger age groups of adults and recommended that this evidence be considered when using the vaccine.
Dr. Raine said, “The benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for most people. It is still crucial that people get in touch for their vaccination when asked to do so.
“We ask anyone who suspects that a side effect has occurred in connection with their Covid-19 vaccine to report it to the Coronavirus Yellow Card website.”
The estimated number of first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca administered in the UK by April 21 was 22 million, which translates into a total blood clot incidence of 9.3 per million doses, according to the MHRA.
The data also showed that 120 cases were recorded in women and 89 men, ages 18 to 93, and the overall death rate was 19%.
Patients should get urgent medical help if they have the following symptoms after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine: difficulty breathing, chest pain, leg swelling, persistent abdominal pain, neurological symptoms such as severe and persistent headache or blurred vision, and tiny spots of blood under the skin beyond the Injection site.