SPAIN’S vaccine strategy takes a U-turn, going forward the AstraZeneca vaccine will only be administered to people aged 60 and over.
The decision was made after a meeting of regional health chiefs, following the announcement by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) of a potential link between the shot and blood clots.
Most of the reported cases of blood clots involved women under 60, within two weeks of being vaccinated.
“The vaccination strategy is changing and from tomorrow only over 60-year-olds will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca,” Health Minister Carolina Darias said at a news conference following the meeting with the regional health ministers.
The decision leaves some two million Spaniards in limbo.
Darias said a decision would be taken this Thursday on how to proceed with the second round of the vaccine to people under 60 who had already received their first dose.
Among the options considered are using another vaccine for the follow-up, or leaving it at one dose only.
With the European Union health ministers failing to agree on general guidance for the vaccine, the EMA has said countries should set their own regulations.
Of which Italy has also announced that it will only administer AstraZeneca to those under 60, Germany is considering the same, and France and Belgium are considering doing so only for those over 55, meanwhile in the UK under-30s will be offered an alternative.
Spain’s decision comes as Castilla y Leon has decided on the precautionary suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the region and authorities in Catalunya, the Basque Country and Aragon impose fresh restrictions on movement following the increased social contact over Easter.
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