All AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination clinics planned for tomorrow are to be cancelled due to new recommendations from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.
The NIAC has recommended that the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine should only be given to those aged 60 and over.
Anybody due to attend an AstraZeneca clinic on Tuesday 13th April is advised not to do so.
Patients will be contacted to have their appointments rearranged.
The NIAC has said that a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be given to anyone who developed unusual blood clots with low platelets after the first dose.
For anyone who has received the first dose of AstraZeneca, the following advice applies:
- Those aged 60 and older should receive their second dose 12 weeks later as scheduled.
- Those aged under 60 years with a very high risk or high-risk medical condition should receive their second dose 12 weeks later as scheduled.
- Those aged under 60 years without a very high risk or high-risk medical condition should have the scheduled interval between doses extended to 16 weeks to allow further assessment of the benefits and risks as more evidence becomes available.
Commenting on the new advice, NIAC Chair, Prof Karina Butler said: “NIAC realises the need to balance the significant benefits of a national vaccination programme with the very rare risk of these reported events. While this is an extremely rare condition, consideration must be given to the fact that it has a very high risk of death or severe outcome. As the risk/benefits of Vaxzevria COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine may vary by age and as alternative COVID-19 vaccines are available NIAC has revised the recommendations for use of this vaccine.
“In developing these recommendations, NIAC is informed by the available scientific evidence and the risk/benefits of the vaccines. New evidence will be reviewed once available and any further required recommendations will be notified to the Department of Health.
“We strongly encourage everyone to accept the COVID-19 vaccine they are offered. A high uptake of vaccine in every age group is needed if COVID-19 is to be controlled, so that public health restrictions may be safely removed” Prof Butler said.