Italy Limits AstraZeneca To Over-60s
Italy said Saturday it would restrict the AstraZeneca vaccine to the over-60s, with younger people who have already received one dose to complete the cycle with an mRNA jab
Rome, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 12th Jun, 2021 ) :Italy said Saturday it would restrict the AstraZeneca vaccine to the over-60s, with younger people who have already received one dose to complete the cycle with an mRNA jab.
The change follows an improvement in coronavirus infection rates in Italy, which has been devastated by the pandemic but will next week lift restrictions in much of the country following a sharp decline in cases.
"The changed epidemiological situation has led to a reassessment of the risk-benefit ratio for age groups less at risk of severe forms of Covid-19," the Italian government's Technical and Scientific Committee (CTS) said.
A health ministry statement Saturday updating the CTS opinion on vaccines said that AstraZeneca's vaccine should now be given "only to people aged 60 or over".
Out of a principle of "maximum caution", for the under-60s who have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca, "the cycle should be completed with a second dose of mRNA vaccine" such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, administered eight to 12 weeks later.
Italy in March blocked the AstraZeneca jab over health fears, but after the EU's medicines agency gave the green light, approved it for everyone over 18.
It recommended preferential use for people over the age of 60, but AstraZeneca has been used for younger people, including in popular "open days".
Most coronavirus restrictions will be eased except for the requirement to wear a mask and respect social distancing.
Health Minister Roberto Speranza said it was an "encouraging result that allows us to look forward with more confidence", while urging people to remain vigilant.