The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Covid19 Task Force chief Marco Cavaleri, recently stated that as vaccine supply and availability increase, the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine should no longer be used for individuals above 60 years of age.
Rare instances of blood clotting due to the AstraZeneca jab, particularly among the younger age groups, prompted many European Union (EU) member nations to briefly either administer the vaccine only to older age groups (50 to 65) or stop using it altogether.
After some time, the EMA once again deemed AstraZeneca vaccines safe for use in all age groups.
Italy, in particular, restricted AstraZeneca shots in March until it was determined to be safe but preferably for use in seniors above 60, the following month.
But following the recent blood clot death of a teenager that had been inoculated, the Italian government has decided to designate AstraZeneca usage exclusively to those over the age of 60.
Cavaleri spoke to La Stampa, an Italian publication, about how the EMA initially weighed the risks and benefits of the vaccine and established that the latter was greater.
However, he added that as Covid19 cases have been diminishing, using Covid19 vaccines that rely on messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) technology would be the safer, better option.
AstraZeneca uses a harmless variant of a cold-causing virus known as adenovirus, to transport the necessary genetic code to mimic the SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins for immunization.
Here in the Philippines, AstraZeneca shots were also halted for a time following the news of rare blood clotting but have since resumed administration to priority groups.