Under-30s are set to be offered an alternative to the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine while experts review a possible link to rare blood clots.

People aged 18 to 29 in the UK will be offered the Pfizer, Moderna or another jab where available, scientists were due to reveal in a major press conference.

However, if the AstraZeneca vaccine is the only one available in their area, it is thought people will still be offered that jab – regardless of their age.

The AstraZeneca jab rollout is not being halted – and ministers and scientists have urged Brits to continue getting their jab when they get the call.

The UK’s medical regulator unveiled new advice to government after 79 cases of rare blood clots were reported out of more than 20million doses of the jab, with 19 deaths. That is up from 30 cases and seven deaths out of 18.1million doses a week ago.

While the benefits outweigh the risks in older adults, who are far more likely than younger people to die of Covid, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has been probing whether the balance of risk could be different in younger adults.

The Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced the new “clinical preference” for under-30s in a press conference at the Department of Health.

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