Twitter users see funny side of news that under-30s will be offered alternative to AstraZeneca jab

Social media users have poked fun at the news that under-30s will be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine after controversy over the risk of blood clots. 

Twitter users were quick to list things that are statistically more likely than suffering a blood clot from the vaccine including getting struck by lightning and being killed by a poodle. 

The Government’s vaccine advisory group ruled today that people aged between 18 and 29 should be offered an alternative to AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine while experts continue to investigate its link to rare blood clots.

A review by the drugs watchdog the MHRA found that by the end of March, 79 out of 20million Britons vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine had suffered deadly blood clots in the brain or arteries, a rate of about one in 250,000. Nineteen of the cases died and three were under the age of 30.

Slides presented at a press conference announcing the change in guidance today showed that younger people are more prone to blood clots after vaccination than older groups.

The MHRA said healthy people aged 19 to 29 be offered either the Pfizer or Moderna jabs instead when the programme moves to younger groups in the coming months.

Anyone who has already had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, regardless of their age, is being advised to go for their second appointment as planned.

Social media users were quick to find the funny side of the situation after official guidance suggested under-30s should be offered an alternative vaccine.

 Some users pointed to a list of things which were statistically more probably than getting a blood clot from the vaccine.

One user wrote: ‘The risk of getting killed by a poodle or getting struck by lightning is far, far higher than the risk of a blood clot from the Astra Zeneca shot.’

Another wrote: ‘”Astra Zeneca? Not bloody likely,” says the 55-year-old, 20 Marlborough a day, two bottle of Rioja a night, Ducati riding, occasional recreational drug user and fish and chip lover Big Dave from Doncaster.’ 

Others compared the risks of getting a blood clot from the vaccine to the contraceptive pill.

One user wrote: ‘Welcome to the world of having to take a medicine with risks so you can have freedom and gift it to others – ask the millions of women who have taken the pill.’

The MHRA insisted there was still no concrete proof that the British-made vaccine is causing the clots, but admitted the link was getting firmer.

 The review prompted the Government’s vaccine advisory group, the JCVI, to recommend that people aged 18 to 29 be given an alternative jab.

However European regulator the EMA took a bolder approach, saying that blood clots should be listed as a ‘very rare’ side effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine but stopping short of imposing any age restrictions on its use.

Britons over that age are still being advised to get the vaccine because the risk of Covid far outweighs the chance of developing the extremely rare conditions. But the JCVI said the benefit to risk ratio was ‘more finely balanced’ in younger people.

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