image captionThe news that people aged under 30 in the UK are to be offered alternative vaccines to the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab makes the front page of several papers. The i newspaper says it follows “weeks of speculation” about the potential side-effect, but emphasises that the risk is extremely small for most people.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph has spoken to the family of a 59-year-old solicitor who died from a blood clot 18 days after he received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Neil Astles – the first named person to have died from a blood clot after having the jab – suffered from worsening headaches and loss of vision. His sister said his family were “furious” but that Mr Astles had been “extraordinarily unlucky” and have urged the public to “keep saving lives” by getting the jab, the paper says.
image captionBut most of the newspaper front pages seek to reassure people to still get vaccinated. The Sun newspaper also focuses on the statistics that show how very rare the blood clot events are. The paper says the medical review gave just a 0.000095% chance of developing a clot after having the AstraZeneca jab. The paper quotes Professor Jonathan Van-Tam as insisting the vaccine rollout offers our best hope of returning to normal life.
image captionThe Times says Boris Johnson has begun a campaign to maintain public confidence in the AstraZeneca jab, and ministers and government scientists are set to “embark on a media blitz to convince people to keep taking the vaccine”. Although the blood clots are rare, minister believe they will need to make a renewed case for the AstraZeneca jab, the paper says.
image captionThe government’s attempt to reassure the public to keep getting vaccinated are also the focus of the Daily Mail’s top story. It says watchdogs, scientists and politicians have all urged people to “keep faith” with the AstraZeneca jab. In a tweet, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the vaccine was “safe, effective and has already saved thousands of lives”.
image captionThe Financial Times suggests the new guidance, from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, “could complicate Britain’s vaccination programme”. Downing Street “played down the significance of the announcement” and insisted it was confident of its supplies and the vaccine rollout was still on track, the paper adds.
image captionBut in the Guardian, Prof Van-Tam is quoted as saying the change in guidance should have little or no impact on the vaccine timeline – although under-30s could face short delays in getting jabbed. The paper leads with the concerns about how the latest news could affect confidence in the vaccine . It emphasises that for older people, the benefits of the vaccine – which is the most widely used in the UK – far outweigh the risks.
image captionThe Daily Express also says the rollout will continue as planned, with Prof Van-Tam saying it will be “full speed ahead” with the vaccine programme. Instead of the AstraZeneca jab, under-30s will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
image captionA different story leads the front of the Metro. The paper looks ahead to Monday, when England’s lockdown is set to be lifted further, and says rail firms are preparing to reinstate services. According to rail bosses, 18,000 train services a day will be running with increased ventilation, and thousands of extra staff have been hired to keep the trains clean. A survey by the watchdog for transport users, Transport Focus, showed 90% of train travellers now feel safe on transport, the paper adds.
image captionAnd the Daily Star’s main story is the tale of a pig called Milton who “escaped the chop” by leaping off a trailer while on his way to the abattoir. After they found the runaway pig, his owners – a family in Devon – decided to keep him. “He’s become quite a famous pig over the last 24 hours,” his owner said.