Spain extends AstraZeneca vaccine to over 65s

Spain extends AstraZeneca vaccine to over 65s
Photo: Loic Venance/AFP
Spain's health ministry announced Tuesday that it was extending the roll-out of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the over-65s, after recent scientific reassurances about its safety.

The vaccine, restricted until now to the 55-to-65 age group, will now be made available to over-65s in priority groups such as health workers, police officers or teachers.

“In respect of the AstraZeneca vaccine, given the new scientific evidence … the age limit is raised,” said a ministry statement Tuesday evening.

Spain was among a number of European Union countries that suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this month after reports of blood clots in a very small number of people.

But they resumed its use last week after the both the World Health Organization and the European Medicines Agency gave the vaccine a clean bill of health.

Several countries are nevertheless taking precautions.

Germany said Tuesday it should only be in general use for the over-60s: anyone under that age could only take it after consulting with their doctor about the risks.

Spain has already cleared other vaccines for use among the over 65s.

Spain is one of the European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, having suffered more than 75,000 deaths.

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