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Australia pauses AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 60

Published on 18/06/21 at 09:46am

Australia will now only recommend that people over 60 receive the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the rare occurrence of post-jab blood clots.

Australia has administered 3.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it has been linked to 60 cases of blood clots, the government has said.

So far, two people have died, which the Minister for Health claims has driven the policy shift.

The country’s Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said: "The government places safety above all else.

"This updated advice received today is based on new evidence demonstrating a higher risk for the very rare (thrombocytopenia syndrome) condition in the 50-59-year-old age group."

Hunt said the recommendation would not delay its inoculation timetable, which has a target of giving at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose to every Australian before the end of 2021.

Several EU member states have stopped administering it to people below a certain age, usually ranging from 50 to 65, restricting its use to older people, due to these very rare cases of blood clotting.

This news come shortly after an EMA official recommended avoiding the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine when other options were available. He shortly after amended his comments and the EMA's current position is that the AstraZeneca shot is safe and can be used for all age groups over 18.

Lilly Subbotin

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