COVID19: Cyprus mulls restricting AstraZeneca

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Cyprus may introduce age restrictions on AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 jab administration, following links to very rare blood clotting incidents.

As Europe’s drug regulator (EMA) continues to look into reports of rare blood clots linked to the vaccine, Cyprus health authorities consider taking their own measures to address concerns.

One measure, according to Health Ministry spokesperson Margarita Kyriakou, is to introduce an age limit on the vaccine, much in the fashion of Greece and the UK who have prohibited the administration to people under the age of 30.

Kyriacou SAID the “ratio of people becoming ill from the AstraZeneca shot is infinitesimal compared to the other risks they face on a day-to-day basis”.

The matter was reportedly taken up by scientists working on Cyprus’ vaccination rollout during their ‘virtual’ meeting on Tuesday.

Scientists could suggest restricting the AstraZeneca jab to people under the age of 59, or even 40.

There is disagreement over other measures that should be taken.

Denmark on Wednesday become the first country to cease administering AstraZeneca entirely.

Bulgaria has also said that it may halt the rollout of AstraZeneca.

In the USA, infectious disease official Anthony Fauci indicated the jab might not be used in the states.

“I think the AstraZeneca vaccine from the standpoint of efficacy is a good vaccine, and if the safety issue gets straightened out in the European Union… the efficacy of that vaccine is really quite good,” Fauci told BBC radio on Tuesday.

“[…not using the jab] It’s not a negative indictment of AZ; it is just possible that given the supply that we have from other companies that we may not need to use an AZ vaccine.”

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose Covid-19 vaccine has been put on hold throughout Europe, pending EMA’s investigation into reports of blood clots.

Cyprus on Wednesday received the first batch of 2,400 jabs, which will remain on ice until the EMA delivers its recommendation.