Friday, June 18, 2021

Chile limits use of AstraZeneca after blood clot case

The shot will be administered only to people aged 45 and over, as a 'preventative and proactive measure' pending further investigation.

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Chile on Thursday became the latest country to limit use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, linked to rare blood clots, when a 31-year-old man developed thrombosis after being immunised.

Pending further investigation and as a “preventative and proactive measure”, the shot will in future be administered only to people 45 and over, the health ministry of the South American country said.

It did not give details on the condition of the man who fell ill after receiving a first shot of the vaccine.

Chile has already administered 326,560 doses of AstraZeneca, mainly but not exclusively to people over the age of 55 to limit the risk of blood clots reported in other countries.

Besides AstraZeneca, of which it has ordered six million doses, Chile also uses the Pfizer/BioNTech shot and China’s Coronavac.

To date, the country has given at least one vaccine dose to 10.8 million people out of a 15.2 million target population – one of the highest rates in the world.

The European Medicines Agency said in April that the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine increases with age and outweighs the risks for adults.

However, after a few hundred cases of blood clots, several countries have suspended or stopped the jab’s use altogether, or limited it to older people.

Clots are also being listed as a side effect of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which uses the same adenovirus vector technology as AstraZeneca.

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