Following today’s announcement (Friday 7 May 2021) by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) (opens in new tab), all adults aged 18 to 39 living in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire will be offered Moderna or Pfizer BioNtech for their first COVID-19 vaccine, Hywel Dda University Health Board can confirm.
Today’s announcement states, as a precaution, unvaccinated adults aged 30 - 39 years who are not in a clinical priority group at higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease, will be offered an alternative to the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, where possible. This is already the case with adults under 30 years.
Fewer than 200 people under 39 are booked to receive a first Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine at the Picton Centre on Saturday 8 May. The health board is making every effort to contact everyone affected to offer a new appointment at a session offering the Moderna or Pfizer BioNtech vaccine.
All mass vaccination centres in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire (opens in new tab) will provide the Moderna, Pfizer BioNtech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines. Please attend your appointment as planned as your clinic will have the appropriate vaccine for your age.
If you have an appointment at the Picton Centre in Haverfordwest on Saturday 8 May and haven’t been contacted by the health board, please call the number on your appointment letter or text as soon as possible so a new appointment can be given to you.
Ros Jervis, Director of Public Health for Hywel Dda UHB, said: “We understand that today’s announcement may cause some concern. The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine, cases of blood clots with low platelet counts continues to be extremely rare and is thought to be a reaction to first exposure. The decision to stop using the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 40 who have no clinical risk factors reflects the excellent progress we are making in bringing the pandemic under control and the increased supply of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
“If you have received a first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine without suffering any serious side effects, it is recommended that you should complete the course and receive the second vaccine when invited, irrespective of age, in line with JVCI advice.”
The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine has already saved thousands of lives and remains safe and effective for the majority of the population with over 1 million people have received the AZ vaccine since January.