Under-40s in Britain to be offered alternative to AstraZeneca vaccine -newspapers

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(Reuters) - People under the age of 40 in Britain will be offered an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine following concerns of rare blood clots, The Daily Telegraph and The Independent newspapers reported on Thursday. 

  The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has recommended that people instead be offered a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine out of "an abundance of caution", The Telegraph said https://bit.ly/2RArOPO. 

  A spokeswoman from Britain's Health Department said on Thursday that the position of the JCVI and medicines regulator MHRA "continues to be that the benefits of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults". 

  "The JCVI keep their recommendations under review in line with the latest scientific advice", the spokeswoman said in a statement, adding that Britain was on track to offer a vaccine to all adults by the end of July. 

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  In April, the JCVI advised alternatives to AstraZeneca's vaccine for those under-30. Pregnant women in the UK were told to have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. 

  In the latest weekly figures, Britain's medicine regulator said that the case incidence of the rare clots and low platelet levels was 10.5 per million doses, compared to 9.3 per million last week. 

  The JCVI drafted recommendations earlier this week and an announcement from the government is expected on Friday, The Independent said https://bit.ly/33sNYpT. 

  The regulator on Thursday said there was some evidence that uncommon blood clots linked to AstraZeneca's vaccine occurred more in women than in men, adding that the difference in incidence was small. 

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  (Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Grant McCool) 

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