More than 31million people in the UK have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine – but fears continue to grow over rare blood clots which have developed in a small number of people who have had the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has said more work is needed in order to establish a definite link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare blood clots.
But they have also said that the benefits still outweigh the risk for the majority.
However, it has still decided that those under 30 in the UK will be offered an alternative vaccine.
The UK vaccine programme has been in place for several months now, and three different jabs are being offered.
These are from Oxford/Astrazeneca, PfizerBioNTech and Moderna. But which one is best?
Here we compare the efficacy of the three different vaccines.
Which is the best Covid vaccine to have?
Firstly, all three of the approved Covid vaccines have passed rigorous health and safety checks in the UK.
The MHRA has also found that all three are effective at preventing severe disease and death due to Covid-19.
According to the NHS, you need two doses of one of the three vaccines to offer lasting protection.
Astrazeneca vaccine won't be rolled out to under-30s over blood clot fears
It explains on the NHS website: “The first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine should give you good protection from coronavirus from three to four weeks after you’ve had it.
“But you need to have the two doses of the vaccine to give you long lasting protection.”
However, the NHS states that there is still a chance you could get or spread Covid even if you’ve had the vaccine.
This means you should still continue to follow social distancing guidance, and wear a face mask where needed.
About the safety of the three vaccines, the NHS says: “So far, millions of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions or clotting problems, have been very rare.”
How effective are the three vaccines?
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In clinical trials, all the approved Covid vaccines have shown strong efficiency.
Evidence from a SIREN study in healthcare workers, published on February 22, found that the Pfizer vaccine is approximately 70% effective at protecting both symptomatic and asymptomatic infections combined up to 35 days after the first dose.
After two doses the efficacy increases to 85%.
Early Public Health England data has also shown that the AstraZeneca vaccine reaches a 60-65% efficacy against symptomatic disease after one dose.
This increases to 82% after the second dose, according to a study by Oxford University published in The Lancet.
Meanwhile, Moderna boasted 80.2% protection after one dose, jumping to 95.6% after the second shot, according to the World Health Organisation.
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