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Stop AstraZeneca for Above 60 Also: EU Drug Regulator COVID Head

This comes as Italy decided to restrict AstraZeneca vaccine for above 60 population, sold in India as Covishield.

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Stop AstraZeneca for Above 60 Also: EU Drug Regulator COVID Head
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"Countries should also avoid giving the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to people over 60," head of the EU drug regulator's COVID-19 task force said on Sunday, reports Reuters. This comes as Italy decided to restrict AstraZeneca vaccine for above 60 population, sold in India as Covishield.

Importantly, European Medical Agency (EMA) considers the vaccine safe for all age groups.

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Meanwhile, Italy has joined some other European countries in restricting the use of the vaccine to those above the age of 60. This follows the death of a teenager from a rare form of blood-clotting associated with the vaccine.

"In a pandemic context, our position was and is that the risk-benefit ratio remains favourable for all age groups," COVID-19 task force chief Marco Cavaleri told the Italian newspaper La Stampa. But when asked specifically if health authorities should avoid giving the Astrazeneca vaccine to people aged over 60, he said: "Yes, and many countries, such as France and Germany, are considering it in the light of greater availability of mRNA vaccines."

The greater availability of mRNA vaccines in Europe, and also falling of cases in many European countries has prompted this thinking.

Earlier in March, Italy had also stopped vaccinating people with the AstraZeneca vaccine along with a number of countries in Europe amid fears of blood clotting in younger people. Now the recommendation is to preferably give it to people over the age of 60 in the country.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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