Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there is “more than enough” Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine doses to cover the remaining 18-29 year olds.

It comes after the Government announced people under the age of 30 will be offered Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, due to the rare blood clot risk found in the AstraZeneca jab.

This morning, Mr Hancock told Sky News: “There are 10.16 million people aged 18-29 in the UK, 1.6 million of them have already had their first jab.

“Anybody who’s had the jab should continue with the second jab because there’s no evidence of this affect after a second jab and we have more than enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to cover all of the remaining 8.5 million people aged between 18-29 if necessary.”

He insisted the UK remained “on track” to hit the target of all adults being offered the jab by the end of July – and that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for all ages.

He told Sky News: “All three vaccines that are in use in the UK are safe and they’re safe at all ages, but there’s a preference for the under-30s, if they want to have the Pfizer or Moderna jab, then they can.”

He said the “abundance of caution” displayed by regulators recommending under-30s are offered an alternative jab to Oxford/AstraZeneca should reassure the public.


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Asked if he fears the move will provoke a drop off in the uptake, he told Sky News: “There’s no need of that. We’ve seen this incredible uptake of the vaccine in this country.

“What we’ve learned in the last 24 hours is that the rollout of the vaccine is working, we’ve seen that the safety system is working, because the regulators can spot even this extremely rare event – four in a million – and take necessary action to ensure the rollout is as safe as it possible can be.

“And we are seeing that the vaccine is working. It’s breaking the link between cases and deaths.”

He added: “The speed of the vaccination programme is not affected by the decisions yesterday. You can see and be reassured by the fact we’re taking an abundance of caution and we’re making sure we’re rolling this out in the safest way possible.”

Mr Hancock also stressed the effects of long Covid on under-30s who may be hesitant over receiving a coronavirus vaccine.

He told BBC Breakfast: “The vaccines are safe, and if you want to have the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna vaccine instead then that is fine.

“Covid is a horrible disease and long Covid affects people in their 20s just as much it seems as any other age group and can have debilitating side effects that essentially ruin your life.”

He added: “The safety system that we have around this vaccine is so sensitive that it can pick up events that are four in a million – I’m told this is about the equivalent risk of taking a long-haul flight.”

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