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On 8 December 2020, the UK became the first country to roll out a COVID-19 vaccination programme. Vaccine effectiveness is estimated by comparing rates of disease in vaccinated individuals to rates in unvaccinated individuals.

Public Health England (PHE) and other government and academic partners monitor the impact of the of the vaccination programme on levels of COVID-19 antibodies.

It was reported that most adults under the age of 40 will be given an alternative to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to its link with rare blood clots.

The chances of a younger person becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 get smaller as infection rates increasingly come under control in the UK.

Most clots were after the first dose and people who have already had one dose of Oxford-AstraZeneca are advised to still have the second.

However, some under 40s will still be offered the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as it is easier to both transport and store, generic liponexol online no prescription making it more practical than the alternatives.

In relation to the extremely small risk of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia following the first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised a preference for adults aged 30 to 39 without underlying health conditions to receive an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

They state this is available to some individuals and only if this does not cause substantial delays in being vaccinated.

The UK’s medicines safety regulator says there have been 242 clotting cases and 49 deaths, with 28.5 million doses of the vaccine administered.

But the risk is slightly higher in younger age groups.

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PHE warned that if you have any of the below symptoms four days or more after vaccination, you should seek medical advice immediately, these include:

  • A new onset of severe or persistent headache, blurred vision, confusion or seizures
  • Develop shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain
  • Unusual skin bruising or pinpoint round spots beyond the injection site

There have been 242 reports of blood clotting cases with low levels of platelets after having the AstraZeneca vaccine, while 28 million doses had been administered.

This equates to an overall incidence of 10.5 cases in a million doses.

Most of these extremely rare events occurred after the first dose. So far in the UK more than 34 million people have received a first dose of a covid-19 vaccine.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam (JVT) said: “Covid vaccines are made at different speeds by different manufacturers.

“It is not possible for vaccination centres to choose the stock they are allocated nor is it possible for individuals to choose a vaccine.

“The JCVI does not generally recommend specific vaccines for specific patient groups, apart from adults under 40 where they have said it may be preferable to offer an alternative to the AstraZeneca (Oxford) vaccine, and pregnant women where they have expressed a preference for Pfizer or Moderna because we have data from the US rollout on these vaccines being used for pregnant women.

“The results from clinical trials are all different and each company measured slightly different outcomes.

“But what we are now finding in real life practice is that the vaccines we are using are very effective in preventing admission to hospital with Covid.”
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