Portugal will to any extent further advocate the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine just for individuals aged over 60, the well being authority DGS mentioned on Thursday, amid issues over potential hyperlinks between the shot and really uncommon instances of blood clots.
The coordinator of the vaccination taskforce, Henrique Melo, mentioned the choice would solely have a “small” impression on the vaccination rollout.
“I want to highlight the goal of the vaccination campaign in Portugal is to save lives and prevent serious illness,” well being authority head Graca Freitas instructed a information convention. “This will be achieved with any vaccine permitted in Portugal.
The transfer got here after the European Medicines Agency introduced on Wednesday it had reviews of 169 instances of a uncommon clotting dysfunction out of 34 million doses administered in Europe. Most occurred in girls underneath 60 and inside two weeks of injection.
Melo mentioned Portugal had already administered 400,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Freitas urged those that had obtained a primary dose to remain calm because the unwanted effects have been “extremely rare”.
The suspension for individuals underneath 60 is momentary and will likely be evaluated when there’s extra knowledge out there.
Portugal is anticipating to obtain one other 1.4 million AstraZeneca doses by June. It additionally makes use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Portugal, which fought the worst of its outbreak in January earlier than instances slowed, has had 825,633 infections and 16,899 deaths.
European Union well being ministers didn’t agree widespread steerage on using the AstraZeneca vaccine, regardless of requires coordination throughout member states to fight any public hesitancy over taking the shot.