The UK has reached an agreement in principle for 60 million doses of the jab Valneva, with an option to acquire an additional 130 million doses from 2022 to 2025.
The country has also ordered 30 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, which has been shown to be 66% effective in preventing coronavirus infection.
The Valneva and Johnson & Johnson jabs will need regulatory approval for use in the UK, once data from further testing becomes available.
We asked Telegraph readers for their questions about vaccines being rolled out in the UK. Our expert, The Telegraph’s Global Health Security Editor-in-Chief Paul Nuki answered questions from readers on Thursday, April 8.
Read on for a selection of the best Q&A questions.
What are the risks of a blood clot from the various vaccines currently used in the UK?
Q: What are the risks of a blood clot from vaccines used apart from the AstraZeneca vaccine? How do they compare?
A: Other vaccines have not been associated with a high incidence of coagulation. With AZ there appears to be an increased risk but the problem remains extremely rare.
The MHRA said that until March 31, it had received “two reports of blood clots (thromboembolism) reported with thrombocytopenia for the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.”
As of that date, around 11 million first doses and 3.5 million second doses of the vaccine had been administered, the MHRA said.
There are no data on the Moderna vaccine as it is not yet widely used in the UK.
I have received a dose of AstraZeneca, but I am under 30 years old, which vaccine will I receive for my second dose?
Q: If the AstraZeneca vaccine is banned in an age group, what happens to my second dose if I had AstraZeneca for my first?
A: The AZ vaccine is not banned in any age group. It’s just that those under 30 are given a choice if an alternative is available. If you have received a dose of the AZ vaccine, the very clear advice is that you should have your second. Any risk is minimal and the benefit huge, especially if we have another outbreak of infections later in the year – which is likely.
Is there any evidence to suggest that we should have different vaccines for different doses?
Q: What evidence is available showing that one dose of AstraZeneca vaccine and one dose of Pfizer vaccine provide better efficacy? Is it possible to get this treatment here in England?
A: I’m not aware that there is still some evidence that mixing jabs has an added benefit and that there may be some risks. It is possible, but we will not know until the proper testing has been done. If you are searching online, you may be able to enter one.
Why should I risk getting vaccinated if I have already had Covid?
Q: Having had Covid (no symptoms, but loss of smell and taste), I don’t see why safe people like me are forced to take the extra risk of vaccination. Why not stop after all the vulnerable are vaccinated?
A: The natural immunity you got when you first took Covid may not last long, leaving you exposed in the future. Even in the short term, the immunity you have may not protect you against some of the newer variants. There are now many examples of people who have caught the virus twice, some seriously. Also, the risk of getting vaccinated is minimal – around one in 100,000 according to the EU’s largest data set. A lot of the things you do day in and day out carry a higher risk than that – driving, for example.
Could the AstraZeneca vaccine have caused a blood clot in my husband?
Q: My 85 year old husband died of a blood clot in his brain and the hospital said he had had a stroke but had no symptoms of stroke. He had his first vaccination three months ago and was due to receive his second this Friday. Could the AstraZeneca vaccine have caused the blood clot?
Paul: If the clot happened three months after it was inoculated, it seems unlikely that there is a connection, but you can talk to your GP for their opinion if you haven’t already. It’s important to remember that clots and strokes become much more common with age and, at age 85, are far from unusual.