Covid-19 Astra Zeneca Vaccination Changes

Regarding the recent news surrounding the changes around the Astra Zeneca vaccination we would just like to clarify some information. The MHRA and JCVI have announced that in some rare cases patients who have received their first dose consequently had a rare and unlikely to occur thrombosis (blood clots) and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count).

This number is very low, four in one million and since the start of the rollout of the vaccination programme over 30 million people have already received their first dose. However, after considering the risks and benefits of the vaccination compared to the consequences of having Covid-19, the MHRA and JCVI has concluded that the benefits of the vaccine for those over 30 years old is far greater than if they contract Covid-19.

For those aged 18 to 30 years who usually have the lowest consequence of infection from Covid-19 compared to older age groups, the risk versus benefits of the vaccination is slightly different for this age group, particularly now that Covid-19 is at moderate and not high levels in this Country.  Therefore the MHRA and JVCI have changed the guidance slightly for this age group.

Second Doses

Those in this age group who have already received their first dose of Astra Zeneca Vaccine should go ahead and have the second dose as planned and attend the vaccination centre when called. There are no concerns about having the second dose for those who did not develop blood clots after the first dose.

First Dose

For patients in this age group who have an underlying health condition that puts them at a higher risk from consequences of Covid-19 infection can still have Astra Zeneca vaccination for first dose, following a discussion about the risk and benefits of the vaccination.  This can take place at the time of your appointment with our lead clinician on site or beforehand with a telephone consultation with our clinical pharmacist, David Horkan. This can be arranged for you,  via the appointment call centre (01608 692 115).

For patients in this age group with no underlying health conditions such as health and social care workers, unpaid carers and those who live in the household of immunocompromised patients, the plan is to offer an alternative vaccine such as Pfizer or Moderna. The Moderna vaccine will only be available through Mass Vaccination Centres and you may have to wait a little while for this to be available.  There may be the option of Pfizer available for a short period, through the local vaccination centre at North Cotswold Hospital.

If however, you wish to have the Astra Zeneca vaccine, you can have a risk and benefits discussion with our clinical pharmacist and if you decide to go ahead, this can be provided at our local vaccination centre at North Cotswold Hospital.

Leaflets will be distributed to practices which will also be readily available at our vaccination centre. Our call centre is still open from Monday to Friday for patients to make enquiries regarding appointments, the number for the centre is 01608 692 115.

All patients in cohorts 1-9 who are due their second Astra Zeneca vaccination should continue to receive this as research shows that those who do have a serious adverse reaction only have this after their first vaccination. When attending second dose appointments patients will have plenty of opportunity to discuss any questions they may have regarding all of this information with our staff on site who are all informed and up to date on the new information published.

Thank you,

North Cotswold Primary Care Network Vaccination Hub.