Italy, Spain Restricting AstraZeneca Vaccine to Over-60s After Blood-Clot Warning
TEHRAN (FNA)- Citing the EU drug regulator’s warning about a rare but serious side effect of Vaxzevria, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Italy and Spain announced it would only use it for adults over 60.
Italy will reserve AstraZeneca's vaccine for those over the age of 60 following concerns of a link to blood clots in younger people, the government's top adviser on the coronavirus crisis announced on Wednesday, Europe News reported.
The decision has been taken to "recommend the preferential use on individuals aged above 60", Franco Locatelli told reporters.
In Spain, Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Wednesday evening that, going forward, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will only be administered to people aged 60 and over.
The decision was made after a virtual meeting of regional health ministers, following the announcement by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and an EU ministerial meeting on the subject.
Earlier in the day, the EMA announced Vaxzevria should be accompanied by a warning about the risk of blood clots as one of the very rare side effects of the vaccine. Both healthcare professionals and recipients of the jab should be reminded that “unusual blood clots with low blood platelets” remain a “very rare side effect”, the EMA said, but added that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the associated risks.
More than two million Spaniards have already received their first dose of the Anglo-Swedish vaccine, while only 97 have received the second, according to Health Ministry data.
Darias reportedly stated the government hasn’t decided how to move forward on the issue and is waiting for guidance from the EU. Among the options considered are using another vaccine for the follow-up, or leaving it at one dose only.
In the UK, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) announced on Wednesday that Britons between the ages of 18 and 29 will be offered an alternative vaccine.
South Korea has already suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for people under 60, ahead of the EMA announcement.