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What we know about blood clots, side effects and risks for under-30s 

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The UK has an in-principle agreement for 60 million doses of the Valneva jab, with an option to acquire a further 130 million doses from 2022-2025.

The country has also ordered 30 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, which has been shown to be 66 per cent effective in preventing coronavirus infection.

Both the Valneva and Johnson & Johnson jabs will need regulatory approval for use in the UK, once data from later-stage trials become available.

Readers’ questions

We asked Telegraph readers for their questions on the vaccines that have been rolled out in the UK. Our expert, The Telegraph’s Global Health Security Editor Paul Nuki, answered them on Thursday April 8. 

Read on for a selection of the best questions from the Q&A.

What are the blood clot risks of the different vaccines currently used in the UK?

Q: What are the blood clot risks of the used vaccines apart from the AstraZeneca vaccine? How do they compare?

A: The other vaccines have not been associated with a raised incidence of clotting. With AZ there does seem to be a raised risk but the problem remains extremely rare.

The MHRA has said up to March 31, it had received “two reports of blood clots (thromboembolism) reported with thrombocytopenia for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine”.

By this date, approximately 11 million first doses and 3.5 million second doses of the vaccine had been given, the MHRA said.

There is no data on the Moderna vaccine as it is not yet being used widely in the UK.

I’ve had one dose of AstraZeneca, but I’m under 30, what vaccine will I get for my second dose?

QIf the AstraZeneca vaccine is banned in an age group what happens for my second dose if l had AstraZeneca for my first?

A: The AZ vaccine is not being banned in any age group. It is just that those under 30 are being offered a choice if an alternative is available. If you have had one dose of the AZ jab the very clear advice is that you should have your second. Any risk is tiny and the upside enormous, especially if we get another surge in infections later in the year –which is likely.

Is there evidence to suggest that we should have different vaccines for different doses? 

Q: What evidence is available showing one jab of AstraZeneca vaccine and one jab of Pfizer vaccine provides better efficacy? Is it possible to get this treatment here in England?

A: I’m not aware of there being any evidence yet that mixing jabs has any additional benefit and there may be risks. It’s possible but we will only find out once proper trials have been done. If you search online you may be able to enter one.

Why should I risk getting a vaccine if I have already had Covid?

Q: Having had Covid (no symptoms, but loss of smell and taste), I fail to see why people not at risk, such as myself, are required to take the additional risk of vaccination. Why not stop after all the vulnerable are vaccinated?

A: The natural immunity you got when you first had Covid may not last long, leaving you exposed in future. Even in the short term, the immunity you have may not protect you against some of the new variants. There are now plenty of examples of people who have caught the virus twice, some seriously. Also, the risk of having the vaccine is tiny – about one in 100,000 according to the bigger dataset from the EU. Many things you do day in day out have a higher risk than that – driving, for example.

Could the AstraZeneca vaccine have caused my husband’s blood clot? 

Q: My 85-year-old husband died from a blood clot on the brain and the hospital said he had a stroke but he didn’t have any symptoms of a stroke. He had his first vaccination three months ago and was due to get his second this Friday. Could the AstraZeneca vaccine have caused the blood clot?

Paul: If the clot occurred three months after his inoculation it seems unlikely there is any connection but you might talk to your GP to get their view if you have not already. It’s important to remember that clots and strokes become much more common with age and, at 85, are far from unusual.

Do you have a question about the AstraZeneca vaccine or any of the other vaccines currently in use in the UK? Leave your question below



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