WWith the UK government’s immunization advisory body, Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority, recommending that healthy adults under the age of 30 be offered an alternative vaccine to Oxford / AstraZeneca if available and qu ‘they are not at high risk of Covid, it is not surprising that some people shy away from it.
In the UK, as of March 31, 79 cases of these rare low platelet blood clots have been reported after receiving approximately 20m doses of AstraZeneca. Nineteen people have died, including three under the age of 30, although it is not known whether blood clots were the cause in all cases.
Some children under 30 have already received a coronavirus vaccine, either because they work in health and social services, or because they have an underlying health problem. Here, two young women who have already received the AstraZeneca version talk about their response to the news.
‘Was are just so few cases of blood clots’
Jasmine Morgan, 26, local government worker and vaccination center volunteer, Essex
“I received the AstraZeneca vaccine in early February, and today’s news has not changed my view of the vaccine. There are just so few cases of blood clots. I don’t think it would be reasonable to prevent so many millions of people from getting a life-saving vaccine when there is no evidence that this is the cause, and the percentage of people with blood clots is so low compared to the number of vaccinated.
“I think it’s too early to stop the rollout until more research is done on the causal link between the vaccine and the clots. Personally, I feel happy to have my second dose which is due on April 26th.
“I’m worried the news will affect confidence in the vaccine. You can see right away that people are saying it shows that they never should have taken it.
“When the vaccine was first launched, a lot of people I know were hesitant, but because it was going so well, they put their worries aside. Today’s news will change things and put doubts in people’s heads.
“Every headache I have, I think, is it the blood clot?”
Yasmine Cotton, 19, health care assistant and student
“I felt sheer regret upon hearing the news and wished I had either waited until more was known about the vaccine or opted for the Pfizer vaccine instead.
“I am a bank employee for a retirement home while I am at university, then when I am at home, I work there as a medical assistant. My manager contacted me and told me I had to have it, and to be honest, I felt quite obligated to get it. I don’t want to endanger the residents, and I also thought if people at work asked me if I had it and said no, that would be frowned upon.
“Now I feel extremely worried. Every headache I have, I think, is it the blood clot? It’s terrifying. I had Covid in October and it was okay. I would come back over and over again if that meant I didn’t care what this vaccine would do to me.
“I can’t get rid of it, but I can guarantee that I won’t get my second dose.”