Barcelona, Spain (AP) — Spain joined other European countries on Wednesday, limiting the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the elderly due to concerns about its association with the very rare blood clots.
Spain’s health minister, Carolina Darias, announced after meeting with the director of the regional health department that authorities would limit shooting to those over the age of 60.
To date, Spain has used AstraZeneca for its young population, limiting the population under the age of 65. Darius said authorities would consider raising the cap on shots, which form an important pillar of the country’s vaccination program.
“The strategy with AstraZeneca is extremely important,” said Darius.
This decision is made hours after the European Medicines Agency announces that it has discovered a “potential link” between shots and rare blood clots.
Last week, Germany and France limited the vaccine to older groups, and at the beginning of Wednesday British officials recommended not giving the vaccine to adults under the age of 30.
The EMA advised that there is no such age limit, emphasizing that the benefits of the vaccine go far beyond the very rare cases of thrombosis.
Spain was one of the European countries that temporarily stopped using the AstraZeneca vaccine when it was first informed of the fear of blood clots last month. So far, Spain has booked Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for people over the age of 65.
Darius said her administration would consider what to do with Spaniards under the age of 60 who have already received the two first shots that AstraZeneca needs to be fully effective. As of Wednesday, 2.1 million people received the first injection of the vaccine, but only 97 received the second injection. It was not clear how many of the more than 2 million people waiting for the second shot were under the age of 60.
Darius said he would study the possibility of giving them a second dose of another vaccine or leaving them one shot that provides some protection.
The day after Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told the country that his government was sticking to the prediction that 70% of Spain’s adult population could be vaccinated by the end of summer, the vaccine strategy A big change will occur.
Darius said he was confident that Spain would reach that milestone, despite the look at the group accepting AstraZeneca.
Of the 9.3 million doses given in Spain, more than 2 million are AstraZeneca injections, which are cheaper and easier to store and transport.
“Changes will be made to the vaccination strategy,” she added, referring to plans to incorporate the Janssen vaccine in the coming weeks.
Darius said a “majority” of the region had agreed to the new age limit, but the Madrid region complained that they did not support the decision.
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