Extremely rare blood clots

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and extremely rare blood clots

People aged 18 – 40 will be offered an alternative vaccine as the risks are more finely balanced.

Up to 30th June 2021, there were reports of 399 cases of extremely rare blood clots with low platelet counts in the UK in people who have received the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. These occurred in 207 women and 189 men. The overall case fatality rate was 18% with 71 deaths. Only 36 cases have been reported after a second dose. This was out of 24.6 million first doses, and 21.5 million second doses given across the UK.

These extremely rare blood clots called “vaccine induced thrombocytopenic thrombosis” (VITT) can occur naturally in people that have not had the vaccine and in people with COVID-19.

The benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the majority of adults. The Joint Committee on Vaccination (JCVI) has advised a preference for people under the age of 40 without underlying health conditions to receive an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – where available and only if this does not cause substantial delays in being vaccinated. See here for more information. 

People who have had their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should still get their second dose – Unless they have had one of the rare blood clots.

Some people should not have the AstraZeneca vaccine – Check here to find out more in relation to the vaccine, or speak to a clinician to check if your condition will impact your option of getting the vaccine.