Spain and Italy have restricted the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people over 60, potentially further slowing the European Union’s sluggish immunization program, which lags behind countries including the US, UK and Israel.
Both countries made their decision on Wednesday after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it had found a possible link between the manats of pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and
vaccine and very rare cases of bleeding disorders in adults. The EMA did not recommend any age limit, as it emphasized that the benefits of the injection outweighed the risks.
To read: EU and UK regulators say AstraZeneca vaccine is safe, but Britons under 30 will be offered an alternative vaccine
Italy’s Ministry of Health recommended that the vaccine only be used by people over 60, but said those under 60 who have already received their first dose of AstraZeneca can also take the second.
Last month, French and German health officials limited the use of the AstraZeneca injection to people over 55 and over 60, respectively, due to concerns about unusual blood clotting in some recipients.
Earlier Wednesday, the United Kingdom’s Joint Committee on Vaccines and Immunizations (JCVI) revised its vaccine recommendations to recommend offering people under the age of 30 alternative vaccinations, such as a vaccine co-developed by biotech biotech company BNTX.
and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer PFE,
or MRNA Biotechnology Moderna,
firstly, because of the “vanishing” rare side effect of blood clots in the brain.
To read: US government to study allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines
AstraZeneca shares rose 2.04% in early London trading on Thursday. According to FactSet, the stock is down less than 1% in the year since now.
The decision by Spain and Italy to restrict the use of the vaccine could make it difficult for the EU to meet its target of vaccinating 70% of adults by the end of summer.
The 27-member bloc was no longer able to reach its first milestone, where at least 80% of people over the age of 80 and 80% of healthcare workers were vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of March, according to the latest data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
The pace of vaccinations could accelerate later this month when pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
begins shipping its one-time COVID-19 vaccine to the EU. Block signed a firm order for 200 million doses of J&J and an option for another 200 million.
To read: Oxford stops trials of AstraZeneca COVID vaccine in children and adolescents due to bleeding problems
On Wednesday, AstraZeneca confirmed the results of the EMA and the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency, noting that both reviews “confirmed that the vaccine provides a high level of protection against COVID-19 in all severities, and that these benefits continue to far outweigh existing. risks “.
The British-Swedish pharmaceutical company said it is working with global regulators to better understand individual cases, epidemiology and possible mechanisms that could explain these extremely rare events.
Separately on Wednesday, the World Health Organization’s vaccine safety advisory committee said that while the blood clot link was “likely,” it was “unconfirmed,” and cases were “very rare” among the 200 million people vaccinated with AstraZeneca worldwide.