Hancock: Under 30s who have had one AZ jab should take the second one

8 April 2021, 08:49 | Updated: 8 April 2021, 18:01

By Maddie Goodfellow

Matt Hancock today told LBC that people should continue to turn up for their second AstraZeneca jab, saying that the decision to offer other vaccines to under-30s means the programme "is as safe as it can possibly be".

Speaking to Nick Ferrari at breakfast on LBC, the Health Secretary said: "We have published all the data that we have and we are totally transparent about these extremely rare side effects.

"And we've told people that if you are under 30, if you want you can have a different jab, the Pfizer or Moderna.

"We've done that because we just want this programme to be as safe as it possibly can be.

"And I think that the fact that the regulators who monitor this rollout have spotted a four in one million chance event is impressive and I am very grateful to them.

"It's better that we are totally transparent and I hope people find that reassuring."

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sought to reassure the public the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe after UK regulators said there was a possible link between the jab and "extremely rare" blood clots.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said the benefits still outweigh the risks overall but while it has not concluded that the vaccine causes rare brain clots, it said the link is getting firmer.

Regulators have recommended that people aged 18 to 29 should be offered the Pfizer, Moderna or other vaccines that come on stream as the programme continues to rollout across the UK.

MHRA's chief executive Dr June Raine told a press conference that there was a "reasonably plausible" link between the AstraZeneca jab and rare blood clots, but stressed these were "extremely rare".

She said: "Based on the current evidence, the benefits of the Covid-19 vaccine AstraZeneca against Covid-19 and its associated risks - hospitalisation and death - continues to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.

"Our review has reinforced that the risk of this rare suspected side effect remains extremely small."

Nick then pushed Matt Hancock on what this means for under-30s who have had their first AstraZeneca jab, and whether they should still go for their second.

"They should take the second jab. The advice if you have had one is to take the second because there is no evidence of this happening after second jabs.

"The evidence for this happening is only after first jabs and so that is really clear because these vaccines are regulated for two of the same jab and so that's what people should do.

"Unless of course they have had these extremely rare side effects, in which case they should be speaking to their doctor.