UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock sought to reassure Britons that the country's vaccine rollout was proceeding “in the safest way possible”.
In an interview with SkyNews, Hancock said the UK was "taking an abundance of caution" regarding the disputed Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
"We are making sure that we're rolling this out in the safest way possible," he added.
European and British medicines regulators announced on Wednesday a “possible link” between the vaccine and rare cases of blood clots.
“We're totally transparent with all of the side effects,” Hancock told SkyNews, “no matter how extremely rare they are.”
“All three vaccines that are in use in the UK are safe, and they're safe at all ages,” Hancock added. “But there is a preference for the under 30s, if they want to have the Pfizer or Moderna jab instead.”
Despite the change, Hancock claimed the UK’s vaccine rollout “is proceeding well” and was not affected by Wednesday’s decision.
“We are seeing that the vaccine is working. It's breaking the link between cases and deaths," Hancock said. “We are on track to hit the target we have set, to ensure everyone in the UK is offered the jab by the end of July.”
Some context on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine: After the UK's drug regulator confirmed links between the vaccine and rare occurence of blood clots on Wednesday, officials said those who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca should receive a second dose from the same brand. People under the age of 30 will be offered an alternative.
Approximately one in ten adults in the UK have received both doses of a Covid vaccine.