Spain has decided to only vaccinate people over 60 with the corona vaccine from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
The decision comes after the European pharmaceutical regulator EMA and the UK regulator has determined that there may be a link between the vaccine and some rare cases of thrombosis. Italy, among others, took the same decision on Wednesday.
“The vaccination strategy is changing, and from tomorrow only people over 60 will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca,” Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias announced at a late press conference on Wednesday evening.
Shortly before, Darias had met with the regions’ top health officials. The minister said it would be decided on Thursday whether people under 60, who have already received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, will receive a second one.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced earlier that after the 34 million doses administered in Europe, 169 cases of thrombosis have been identified, roughly one in 100,000 people under 60 have received the vaccine. The blood clots were most often found in women under the age of 60, about two weeks after receiving the vaccine.
European health ministers at a summit disagreed on a common vaccination policy in connection with the findings. The EMA then said that EU member states must determine their own course. Spain is taking the same decision as Italy announced earlier on Wednesday.
The UK wants to offer people under 30 an alternative to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Belgium only gives the vaccine from the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company to citizens over 55 years of age.