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Australia discontinues AstraZeneca vaccine for most people under 50 years of age

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – Australia on Thursday became the last country to restrict the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, recommending that it not be given to people under the age of 50.

The announcement came after Australian drug regulators held a series of emergency meetings earlier today. The recommendation came after the European Medicines Agency said it had found a “possible link” between the shot ‘rare blood tissue’, although UK և EU regulators emphasized that the benefits of getting the vaccine continue to outweigh many people.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday evening that he had received a number of recommendations from the advisory group, the most important of which was that the Pfizer vaccine should now be the preferred vaccine for people under 50 years of age.

Morrison noted that the recommendations were made with great caution due to the rare but serious side effects, which were mainly associated with younger people.

“We have taken the necessary precautions based on the best possible medical advice,” Morrison said. “It was not our practice to cast a shadow.”

The Australian Immunization Advisory Group also advised that people under the age of 50 who had already received their first AstraZeneca shot should switch to their second shot, as medical advice suggests that rare blood clots develop only after the first dose.

The group said that only if the benefit clearly outweighs the risk, the initial shot of AstraZeneca should be given to a person under 50 years of age.

Under-50s who should have received the AstraZeneca vaccine are now given priority over the Pfizer vaccine, which is likely to delay the vaccination process.

Indeed, according to the Australian Vaccine Strategy, most people should receive AstraZeneca vaccines.

Opposition politicians say the European Union’s findings point to the danger of Australia failing to secure vaccine deals with other suppliers.

The move came in Australia after British authorities advised not to give the AstraZeneca vaccine to adults as young as 30 years old. Several other countries have also imposed restrictions.

Such restrictions are being scrutinized because the vaccine, which is much cheaper, easier to maintain, and more potent for global immunization campaigns, is a pillar of a UN-sponsored program called COVAX, which aims to deliver vaccines to the world’s poorest poor. countries


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