Wales ‘making plans’ to use different vaccines for young due to one-in-million blood clot concerns
The Welsh Government has been “making plans” this week to tackle the need to use different coronavirus vaccines for different population age groups, the First Minister has said.
Mark Drakeford said they would use Pfizer and Moderna vaccines on younger age groups as the regulator had advised against the use the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Under-30s in the UK are to be offered an alternative Covid vaccine to the AstraZeneca jab due to the evidence linking it with a very small chance of forming blood clots.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency found a risk of about one in a million of dying after a blood clot after taking the jab.
Mark Drakeford told Today that he expected Wales to receive a population share of vaccines as it had in the past and they would then manage who got what vaccines to suit different age cohorts.
“We are already vaccination the people aged between 40 and 49 – we’re well into that cohort now. So it wouldn’t be many weeks before we would be thinking of offering the vaccine to people in their 30s,” he said.
“What we will do is manage the supply of vaccine we’ve got. We will use AstraZeneca, where the regulator says that that is the right thing to do.
“And then we will use the other vaccines we have – the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccines – for those age cohorts where the regulator says it would be better to make an offer of that sort.”
Mark Drakeford added that he has “assurances” that Wales would get their population share of the vaccines.
“And that is exactly what has happened up until now and that is what has allowed us to use our very effective implementation program in Wales,” he said.
“I expect that to continue, and then it will be up to us to manage that supply in the way we have to maximise vaccination in Wales.
“We have vaccinated a higher number of the Welsh population per head of the population than any other part of the United Kingdom.
“And we’ve been working this week on plans to make sure that in these changed circumstances we can go on doing that, and give people in Wales confidence that our program is a very successful program, finding a way to the future for us beyond Coronavirus.”