BRITS still believe the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe despite blood clot fears – with a poll finding three in four people would still take the jab.
It comes after under-30s were advised to take other shots after regulators pointed to a one in a million chance of dying from a rare blood clot.
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Yesterday, it was announced that age group would get alternative jabs — with priority for Pfizer or Moderna doses or the one-shot Janssen due this summer.
Despite blood clot fears, a poll by YouGov carried out for The Times found that 75 per cent of Brits considered the Astrazeneca jab safe.
Among those aged 18-24 nearly two thirds said the jab was safe, while 68 per cent of 25 to 49-year-olds said the same.
Meanwhile, just 13 per cent of adults across all age groups considered the vaccine to be unsafe, while 12 per cent did not know.
The overall level of confidence in the jab is only slightly lower than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, which was considered safe by 78 per cent of those polled.
It comes as ministers and government scientists ramp up efforts to reassure the public about the safety of the Astrazeneca vaccine.
Matt Hancock said everyone should take a vaccine when their time comes, and the risk of experiencing a brain clot was the same as “taking a long-haul flight”.
The Health Secretary urged the under-30s to take the jab to protect loved ones and avoid the risk of long Covid, adding there is “more than enough” Moderna and Pfizer for this age range.
There are almost 10.2 million people aged 18 to 29 in the UK, of whom 1.6 million have already had their first vaccine.
The risk of clotting from the jab — 79 in 20million doses, or one per 250,000 — is tiny compared to other medical emergencies.
Two in every 1,000 women are likely to develop a blood clot during or after pregnancy. Three per cent of plane passengers also run the risk.
Professor Van-Tam yesterday stressed the risk of developing a blood clot remained highly unlikely, adding: “You can’t pick these kinds of things up until you have literally deployed tens of millions of doses.”
He said the under-30s move was a simple “course correction”.
Meanwhile, official weekly figures released yesterday showed coronavirus deaths had plummeted 92 per cent since the peak of the second wave in January.
Some 712 deaths involving coronavirus happened in the seven days to March 19, according to the Office for National Statistics. This is down from 8,945 deaths in the week ending January 22.
Matt Hancock said vaccines were clearly breaking the link between Covid cases and deaths in the UK and were saving “thousands of lives”.
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He told Sky News: “The number of people dying from Covid halved in the last nine days… and is down 90 per cent from the peak.”
Urging younger Brits to get the jab, Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “Vaccines are safe, and if you want to have the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine instead then that is fine.
“Covid is a horrible disease and long Covid affects people in their 20s just as much it seems as any other age group and can have debilitating side effects that essentially ruin your life.”
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