WARRINGTON South MP Andy Carter has moved to reassure residents by emphasising the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe and effective.

The Conservative politician also urged people to get their jab when they are called forward.

He said: “Residents may have seen on the news yesterday that under 30s will now be offered Pfizer or Moderna vaccine instead of AstraZeneca due to extremely rare blood clots linked to the vaccine. 79 cases have been identified so far out of around 20 million doses. 

“To be absolutely clear, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives - and when people are called forward, they should get their jab.

“As the MHRA – the UK’s independent regulator – and the JCVI have said, the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks for the vast majority of adults.

“Everybody who has already had a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of the same brand, irrespective of age, except for the very small number of people who experienced blood clots with low platelet counts from their first vaccination.

"The Government will follow the updated advice, which sets out that, as a precaution, it is preferable for people under the age of 30 with no underlying health conditions to be offered an alternative vaccine where possible once they are eligible.

"When people are called forward, they should get their jab. Vaccines are the best way out of this pandemic and provide strong protection against Covid-19. I am grateful for the work of our world-leading regulator and our expert advisors as they continue to address this issue.

“More than 37 million jabs overall have already been administered, and we are on track to offer jabs to all over 50s by 15 April and all adults by the end of July.”