Italy will stop administering AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine to people under the age of 60, the Italian government announced on Friday, amid a drop in the country’s level of infections that meant the risks of distributing the vaccine to younger people was judged to outweigh the benefits.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been under scrutiny after a smattering of reports of rare and severe blood clots in those who had received the vaccine emerged in Europe.
Younger Italians who have already received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will get a different shot for their booster dose, said Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, an army general in charge of Italy’s vaccination effort, during a news conference. He added that the change would have minimal impact on the country’s vaccination rollout.
The announcement was the latest in a series of reversed decisions about the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed with Oxford University. Some doctors worry that the back and forth could further undermine the trust in the vaccine, and hamper Italy’s inoculation campaign.
approved its use in January, Italy recommended its use only for people under the age of 55.
The country then raised the threshold to 65 on Feb. 22, and then dropped the age limit March 8. A week later, Italy become one of a number of European countries to suspend using the
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