Health Secretary Matt Hancock said there were “more than enough” Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine doses to cover the remaining 18-29 year olds.
This comes after the government announced that people under 30 will be offered Pfizer or Moderna vaccines due to the rare risk of blood clots in the AstraZeneca sting.
This morning, Hancock told Sky News, “There are 10.16 million people aged 18-29 in the UK, 1.6 million of whom have had their first stab.
“Anyone who had the shock should take the second shock as there is no evidence of this effect after a second shock and we have more than enough Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to cover all of the remaining 8.5 million people if needed between the ages of 18 and 29. ”
He insisted the UK was “on track” to achieve the goal of having the sting offered to all adults by the end of July – and that the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for all ages.
He told Sky News: “All three vaccines used in the UK are safe and safe at any age, but there is a preference for those under 30 if they want the Pfizer or Moderna push then are they able to. “
He said the “caution” shown by regulators recommending that under-30s offer an alternative to Oxford / AstraZeneca should reassure the public.
When asked if he fears the move could lead to a decline in acceptance, he told Sky News: “That is not necessary.” We saw this incredible uptake of the vaccine in this country.
“What we’ve learned in the past 24 hours is that the introduction of the vaccine is working. We saw the security system work as regulators themselves can detect this extremely rare occurrence – four in a million – and take necessary measures to ensure the rollout is as secure as possible.
“And we see that the vaccine is working. It breaks the link between cases and deaths. “
He added: “The speed of the vaccination program will not be affected by yesterday’s decisions. You can see and have peace of mind that we are very careful and make sure we implement this in the safest possible way. “
Mr Hancock also highlighted the effects of Long Covid on those under 30 who may be reluctant to get a coronavirus vaccine.
He told BBC Breakfast, “The vaccines are safe, and if you want the Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine instead, that’s fine.
“Covid is a terrible disease and for a long time Covid affects people in their twenties just like any other age group and can have debilitating side effects that essentially ruin your life.”
He added, “The security system we have around this vaccine is so delicate that it can capture events in four in a million. I was told it was the same risk of taking a long haul flight.”