This month has seen a torrent of news about experimental vaccines to prevent Covid , with the latest development from AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. On Monday they announced that a preliminary analysis showed their vaccine was effective — especially when the first dose was mistakenly cut in half. The announcement came on the heels of stunning reports from Moderna , as well as Pfizer and BioNTech. Researchers at the University of Oxford built the vaccine using a kind of virus, called an adenovirus, that typically causes colds in chimpanzees. An adenovirus-based vaccine called Sputnik V is already being distributed in Russia on an emergency basis, although researchers have yet to release detailed results from their late-stage trial.
AstraZeneca vaccine: How do you weigh up the risks and benefits?
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For most people currently being offered the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the benefits clearly outweigh the risks. But the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation JCVI has recommended that - because of an "extremely small" number of cases of blood clots in some who have had the jab - people under 30 should be offered other vaccines. Everyone's choice is different - weighing up the risk of potential side effects against the chance of contracting coronavirus and perhaps becoming seriously ill, or even dying. We don't know enough to be able to plug the data into a calculator and get a simple, exact answer tailored to you.