HEALTHY patients under 30 have been given the AstraZeneca vaccine against official recommendations because clinics did not have alternative vaccines in stock.

The Herald can reveal that at least two patients aged 20 and 21 were among those given the jag at a vaccination clinic in Renfrewshire yesterday.

It comes after the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation updated its guidance on Wednesday to say that healthy under-30s should be offered either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines instead due to a very small risk of rare blood clots, which slightly outweighs the benefits of the vaccine in this age group when prevalence of the virus is low.

READ MORE: Two thirds of new Covid hospital patients in Scotland are under-65

A 20-year-old woman from the Glasgow area, who has no underlying conditions but was being vaccinated because she is an unpaid carer for her grandparents, said she received a text within hours of her appointment telling her to reschedule it so that she could be given an alternative vaccine - but by then it was too late.

HeraldScotland: People wait to be vaccinated at the NHS Louisa Jordan in Glasgow. The mass vaccination hub has now moved to the neighbouring SSE HydroPeople wait to be vaccinated at the NHS Louisa Jordan in Glasgow. The mass vaccination hub has now moved to the neighbouring SSE Hydro

The woman, who asked not to be named, attended Carmichael Hall in Giffnock where she said the vaccinator who carried out her injection "didn't seem too sure" what to do in the situation.

She said: "She asked all the questions they have to ask like 'are you pregnant or breastfeeding', and then she said 'I notice that you're under-30, but we're going to give you the AstraZeneca'.

"I asked why, but she said it was the only one they have so she asked 'is it okay if we give you this?'.

"I asked if there was an alternative and she basically said 'no, it's a case of take this or don't get the vaccine'."

"If I could have said 'no', I would have, but I thought I might as well just get it. When I came home and said to my Mum that I'd got [the AstraZeneca] she was like 'that's ridiculous - it's all over the news that under-30s aren't supposed to be getting that'."

She added that the vaccinator had told her that it would be fine for her to get the AstraZeneca vaccine "because you don't have any underlying conditions".

READ MORE: Under-30s to be offered alternatives to AstraZeneca after three deaths in young people

In fact, the guidance has remained the same for people under-30 with health conditions such as severe asthma or diabetes because their risk from Covid outweighs the possible risk of side effects from the jag.

The new recommendations only apply to healthy under-30s, such as unpaid carers and NHS workers who are among the priority groups for vaccination.

HeraldScotland: At low levels, the potential benefit of vaccination using the Oxford-AZ vaccine in terms of preventing an admission to intensive care is outweighed by the risk of serious harm in 20-29-year-olds, although the rates for both are extremely lowAt low levels, the potential benefit of vaccination using the Oxford-AZ vaccine in terms of preventing an admission to intensive care is outweighed by the risk of serious harm in 20-29-year-olds, although the rates for both are extremely low

HeraldScotland: The risk profile changes when the vaccine is at a higher rate, which is why European regulators have not recommended that the vaccine be stopped for any age group as the continent battles a third waveThe risk profile changes when the vaccine is at a higher rate, which is why European regulators have not recommended that the vaccine be stopped for any age group as the continent battles a third wave

The woman, whose 21-year-old brother was also given the AstraZeneca vaccine despite having no health issues, later received a text from NHS Test and Protect Scotland telling her to reschedule her "upcoming appointment".

The text arrived just before 4pm, seven hours after she had already been vaccinated.

She added: "I feel fine about it but I just know that I shouldn't have got it, and I feel disappointed that I had to be the person who did get it and then got that text because I'm thinking 'if they're sending that now there must be something wrong'."

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In a statement, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "We apologise to anyone under the age of 30 who attended for a vaccination in recent days and feels they should have been provided with an alternative to the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

"Although people under the age of 30 can still choose to have the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, a discussion with regard to potential risk should have taken place.

"Staff have been reminded of the need to do so and we are sorry if that has not been the case.

"The vaccination rollout across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been conducted in line with guidance from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).

"We have seen a very high uptake of vaccinations, and across the NHSGGC area more than 600,000 vaccinations have been given since the start of December.

"These include frontline health and social care workers, people aged 50 years and older, individuals who are clinically vulnerable and elderly care home residents.

"Anyone requiring further information with regard to the vaccination should visit www.nhsinform.scot or if you have severe side effects please seek medical advice by calling NHS 24 on 111."

Out of the 20 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine given in the UK, regulators have recorded 79 cases of rare blood clots occurring in conjunction with a low platelet count.

There have been 19 deaths, including three in under-30s, although a causal link has not been definitively proven.

HeraldScotland: Nearly 16% of 16-29-year-olds in Scotland have had a first dose to Covid vaccine to date (Source: Public Health Scotland)Nearly 16% of 16-29-year-olds in Scotland have had a first dose to Covid vaccine to date (Source: Public Health Scotland)

Regulators stress that the vaccine is safe and effective.

However, an analysis found that, when prevalence of the virus is low, the vaccination was slightly more likely to cause serious harm in 20-29-year-olds than prevent an admission to intensive care with Covid, at a rate of 1.1 versus 0.8 cases per 100,000 over a 16-week period.

This was not the case for other age groups, where the benefits significantly outweighed the risk.