Is the AstraZeneca vaccine safe for over 60s? Side effects ‘mild and short lived’

AstraZeneca: Sister of blood clot victim urges UK to get jabbed

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AstraZeneca suffered a blow on Wednesday when it was found by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to likely be behind “extremely rare” blood clot side effects in a tiny number of recipients. Joining the EMA was the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which announced all people under 30 will be offered an alternative vaccine due to the blood clot reports. England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said it was a “course correction” in the vaccination programme, and said it was “quite normal” for doctors to alter their preferences on how to treat patients.

Is AstraZeneca safe for over 60s?

In short, yes, the AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for the over 60s.

There’s been no concern raised in this age group, and as previously mentioned, the jab is only being restricted for younger age groups – specifically those aged under 30.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Dr William Budd, clinical research physician at Imperial and advisor to healthcare management app, MyGP, reiterated the notion it’s safe for over-60s.

Dr Budd explained: “So, yes, the [AstraZeneca] vaccine is safe for those aged 60 and over.

“As with all medications, we have some side effects but they have often been mild and very short lived.

“The protection provided by the vaccine against COVID-19 far outweigh the very small risks we have seen.

“As with all the drugs we give in the UK, safety checks have been done in the vaccine before we undertook the national rollout.

“We simply would not have vaccinated people if we didn’t know the vaccine was safe, as seen in the trials and now as we vaccinate more and more people, we are seeing additional evidence of how well it works and its safety.”

The fact some countries have banned the AstraZeneca vaccine in patients under 60 should give reassurance as well.

Germany is one example of a country which has limited use of the AstraZeneca in younger adults.

Germans under 60 can still get the AstraZeneca, but only “at the discretion of doctors, and after individual risk analysis and thorough explanation”, according to official documents seen by the DPA news agency.

The deacon came amid fresh concern over unusual blood clots, and after Germany had initially banned the AstraZeneca jab for all its residents.

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Health Minister of Bavaria, Klaus Holetschek said: “The positive message is that the vaccine from AstraZeneca should continue to be vaccinated for people who have reached the age of 60.

“The studies continue to show that this is a vaccine that’s effective against severe bouts of this disease.

“We need it to be effective in the face of a third wave and dangerous viral mutations, and we need it to move forward quickly.”

Germany’s permanent vaccine commission, known as STIKO, published new guidance recommending the jab be only administered to over-60s.

The authority said it had made the decision “on the basis of currency available data on the occurrence of rare, but very serious thrombosis-related side effects”.

The commission said it would issue further advice for adults under 60 who’ve had a first dose of the AstraZeneca and due another by the end of the month.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the restrictions, saying: “Trust comes from he knowledge that every suspicion, every single case will be looked into.”

Chancellor Merkel added she would also be willing to have an AstraZeneca dose “when it is my turn”, as she is 66-years-old.

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