Good morning. As Channel 4 Information revealed on Monday, the Medicines and Healthcare merchandise Regulatory Company (MHRA) has been reviewing its recommendation about using the AstraZeneca vaccine following considerations about its hyperlinks to a really uncommon blood clotting situation, and an announcement could also be coming quickly. On the At this time programme this morning Jeremy Hunt, the chair of the Commons well being committee, stated a call was wanted as a matter of “urgency” – though he additionally pressured that previously the MHRA had at all times acted rapidly. He informed the programme:
I believe there’s urgency; I believe the one factor you may’t say concerning the MHRA is that they act slowly – they’ve been very, very quick and fleet of foot all through this pandemic.
At the moment the MHRA is advising individuals in all age teams to take the AstraZeneca vaccine whether it is provided to them – though final month, in response to considerations about 5 instances of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) – the extraordinarily uncommon blood clot within the mind – occurring within the 11 million individuals who had then had the vaccine, the MHRA did subject some precautionary steerage. Since then extra instances of CVST have occurred, however they continue to be a minuscule proportion of the full variety of individuals vaccinated.
As my colleague Sarah Boseley studies in her in a single day story, some UK drug security specialists consider there might be a causal hyperlink between the AstraZeneca jab and CVST. However they are saying vaccination programmes should proceed, with threat mitigation for girls beneath 55. Sarah’s story is right here.
This morning Prof Adam Finn, a professor of paediatrics on the College of Bristol and a member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), stated that figures as much as 24 March confirmed 30 instances of CVST and 7 deaths within the UK amongst greater than 18 million individuals given the AstraZeneca jab. He stated extra up-to-date figures had been due quickly.
Most of those CVST instances are occurring in ladies beneath the age of 65 and Finn stated this might result in sure vaccines getting used for sure age teams. Requested if youthful individuals might be restricted to sure vaccines, he informed the At this time programme:
That’s definitely attainable. We’re seeing one other vaccine coming in [Moderna], and additional vaccines are approaching licensure, and I do know that the UK has made contracts for fairly a variety of various vaccines.
As time goes ahead we can have rather more flexibility about who might be provided what.
Then again, we do must hold the programme going if the plan to open issues up and permit issues to get again to regular is to proceed with out one other wave of the pandemic coming by.
So it’s fairly a tough balancing act right here, getting the stability proper, getting vaccines coming by … getting the risk-benefit proper for individuals coming ahead.
Some European international locations have determined to restrict using the AstraZeneca vaccine to older individuals. In Germany it is just given to the over-60s, and in France to the over-55s.
Finn urged individuals being provided the vaccine in the intervening time to take it, saying the “risk-benefit may be very strongly in favour of receiving the vaccine”.
Right here is the agenda for the day.
9.30am: The ONS publishes a report on the influence of Covid on college students.
9.30am: Plaid Cymru launches its election manifesto for the Senedd election.
2pm: Andy Burnham, the mayor of Better Manchester, holds a press convention.
Afternoon: Boris Johnson is out on a go to, the place he’s anticipated to talk to the media.
And Sir Keir Starmer is visiting Plymouth right this moment.
Politics Reside has been largely about Covid for the final 12 months and I can be protecting UK coronavirus developments right this moment, in addition to non-coronavirus Westminster politics. For international coronavirus information, do learn our international dwell weblog.
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