Spain and Italy halt the use of AstraZeneca shot for under-60s

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Apr 08, 2021, 10:11 PM(IST)

FILE Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

These countries will only give AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine to people over 60 years old after European and British regulators found a potential link between the shot and rare brain blood clots.

Spain and Italy have limited the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people aged over 60, potentially further slowing the European Union’s sluggish immunization program, which lags behind countries including the U.S., the U.K. and Israel.

These countries will only give AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine to people over 60 years old after European and British regulators found a potential link between the shot and rare brain blood clots.

While the EMA, the EU’s pharmaceuticals regulator, did not change its guidance for who should take the vaccine, it noted that “so far, most of the cases reported [of blood clots] have occurred in women under 60 years of age within two weeks of vaccination”.

Belgium separately restricted the AstraZeneca vaccine to those aged 56 or older for a minimum of four weeks on Wednesday. Australia moved on Thursday to limit further use of the shot in those younger than 50, with Canberra saying the BioNTech/Pfizer inoculation should be used instead.

Europe's and Britain's medicine regulators have both previously said that there is no increased risk of blood clots in general from the shot developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca.

However, both have been investigating small numbers of reports of brain blood clots, known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), that have occurred in combination with unusually low blood platelet levels after people have been given the shot.

(With inputs from agencies)

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