Covid-19: 19 die in UK after taking AstraZeneca vaccine, says regulator

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There have been 79 cases of rare blood clots, resulting in 19 deaths, in people receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine in Britain, the country's medicines regulator said Wednesday.

"By 31 of March over 20 million doses having been given, we have had 79 cases reported. Of the 79 cases, 19 people have sadly died," June Raine, Chief Executive of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), told a briefing.

Meanwhile, Britain's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised against administering the vaccine to under-30s where possible.

Wei Shen Lim, Covid-19 Chair for JCVI, said that based on the available data and evidence, the committee has advised that it is preferable for adults aged under 30 with no underlying conditions to be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine where available.

"We are not advising a stop to any vaccination for any individual in any age group. We are advising a preference for one vaccine over another vaccine for a particular age group, really out of the utmost caution, rather than because we have any serious safety concerns," he said at a briefing.

He said people should continue to have a second dose of the AstraZeneca shot if they had received a first dose.

- Additional reporting by Reuters

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