Miami Herald

U.K. advises limiting AstraZenec­a shots to those under 30

- BY MARIA CHENG, DANICA KIRKA AND JILL LAWLESS

British authoritie­s recommende­d Wednesday that the AstraZenec­a COVID-19 vaccine not be given to adults under 30 where possible because of strengthen­ing evidence that the shot may be linked to rare blood clots.

The recommenda­tion came as regulators in the United Kingdom and the European Union emphasized that the benefits of receiving the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for most people — even though the European Medicines Agency said it had found a “possible link” between the shot and the rare clots. British authoritie­s recommende­d that people under 30 be offered alternativ­es to AstraZenec­a. But the EMA advised no such age restrictio­ns, leaving it up to its member-countries to decide whether to limit its use.

Several countries have already imposed limits on who can receive the vaccine, and any restrictio­ns are closely watched since the vaccine, which is cheaper and easier to store than many others, is critical to global immunizati­on campaigns and is a pillar of the U.N.-backed program known as COVAX that aims to get vaccines to some of the world’s poorest countries.

“This is a course correction, there’s no question about that,” Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, said during a news briefing.

Van-Tam said the effect on Britain’s vaccinatio­n timetable — one of the speediest in the world — should be “zero or negligible,” assuming the National Health Service receives expected deliveries of other vaccines, including those produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

The agency said most of the cases reported were in women under 60 within two weeks of vaccinatio­n, though it was unable to identify specific risk factors based on current informatio­n.

Experts reviewed several dozen cases that came mainly from Europe and the U.K., where around 25 million people have received the AstraZenec­a vaccine.

 ?? VADIM GHIRDA AP ?? A woman gets an AstraZenec­a vaccine at a vaccinatio­n center in Bucharest, Romania, on Wednesday.
VADIM GHIRDA AP A woman gets an AstraZenec­a vaccine at a vaccinatio­n center in Bucharest, Romania, on Wednesday.

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