JCVI Announcement on AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine

Use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine: JCVI statement, 7 May 2021

The updated guidance from JCVI states:

‘JCVI’s advice is based on the available data on the current epidemiology, benefit-risk profile by age, modelling predictions on future disease trends and the current forecast on vaccine supply. Given the risk (albeit extremely rare) of these adverse events associated with the AstraZeneca (AZD1222) vaccine, the current control of COVID-19 in the UK, model predictions of the potential scale and timing of a future wave, and promising forecasts for the availability of vaccines in the UK, JCVI agreed its advice should be updated.

JCVI advises that, in addition to those aged under 30, unvaccinated adults aged 30 to 39 years who are not in a clinical priority group at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, should be preferentially offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 (AZD1222) vaccine, where possible and only where no substantial delay or barrier in access to vaccination would arise.

For those under 40 years who are of older age, male, obese (BMI above 30), from certain ethnic minority backgrounds or experiencing socio-economic deprivation, the risks of acquiring and/or suffering complications of COVID-19 are higher. Every effort should be made to remove barriers to accessing vaccination in those individuals.

For those aged 18 to 29 years the precautionary advice for a vaccine preference is stronger, reflecting a gradient in the benefit-risk balance with age.’