According to a new modeling study, the risks posed by the AstraZeneca vaccination to younger individuals are more significant than the advantages.
The study published in the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) medical journal simulates four months of a vaccine distribution strategy in France involving Vaxzevria (commonly known as AstraZeneca) starting in May 2021.
Scientists found that administering the vaccine to the entire adult population would prevent 10 deaths from COVID-19 among 18–39-year-olds but would be linked to 21 deaths from blood clotting in the same age grouping over the same period.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the risk of rare blood clotting from AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen’s) adenoviral vector vaccines is one in 100,000 for people over 50 and double that, or two in 100,000, for those under 50.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has admitted that the COVID-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca does pose a greater risk of causing blood clots in young adults.
Due to the potential risk, many European health departments have decided to restrict using the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in people under 30.
However, the HSE announced later that all 18–34-year-olds would be able to get Janssen vaccines from 750 pharmacies from July 5, after the National Public Health Emergency Team expressed their concern about the potential spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
To prevent the transmission among the vast majority of unvaccinated people, starting from July 12, that age group will be able to register with the HSE for an appointment at a vaccination center to get an AstraZeneca vaccine and a limited supply of Janssen vaccine, noting that the choice of vaccinating is entirely optional.
“If someone aged 18 to 34 would prefer to get their vaccine at a HSE vaccination centre, they can wait and register online later this month,” an HSE spokesperson said.
“People receiving Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) are advised of the very rare risk of blood clots, the symptoms to look out for and to seek urgent medical attention,” he continued.
“Healthcare professionals are also aware of this and the investigation and management of such cases.”
The National Immunisation Advisory Committee recommended that AstraZeneca should only be given to people over the age of 60 in Ireland back in April due to the risk of blood clots because older people are more susceptible to severe COVID-19 infection than their younger counterparts.