Vaccination Programme Update -The Oxford AstraZeneca Vaccine And Extremely Rare Blood Clots

The Health Directorate is aware of the recent reports within the international news of extremely rare blood clots being linked to the AstraZeneca Vaccine.  As a result, the United Kingdom has taken a decision to offer persons aged 18-29 an alternative vaccine. 

The general advice from the UK Government is as follows:

The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives.

As the MHRA [the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency – the UK’s independent regulator] and the JCVI [the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.

Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.”

Blood clots are an extremely rare side effect of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.  On St Helena, over 90% of the eligible population has already received the first dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine: no blood clots were experienced.  For this reason, St Helena will follow the advice from the JCVI and continue to administer the second dose of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.

Persons who have queries or concerns are asked to contact Senior Medical Officer, Dr Kamar Tanyan, or Pharmacist, John Woollacott, on tel. number 22500 for advice. 

If you have any further queries regarding the vaccination programme please contact

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9 April 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470