U.K. agency won’t give AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to those under 30

A vial of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine
The risk of rare blood clots prompted United Kingdom’s drug regulator to offer people under 30 COVID-19 vaccines made by companies other than AstraZeneca.
(Matthias Schrader / Associated Press)

The United Kingdom’s drug regulator says the AstraZeneca vaccine has huge benefits but people under 30 will be offered another product due to a rare blood clot risk.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said Wednesday that while it is studying the possible connection between AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine and rare blood clots, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines should be offered to people in that age group.

Dr. June Raine, the head of the MHRA, said that the benefits “continue to outweigh the risks for the vast majority of people.”

The decision was announced soon after the European Union’s drug regulator said it had found a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare clotting disorder. But that agency did not recommend any new restrictions on the vaccine for people 18 and over, saying the benefits of the shot still outweigh risks.