Spain is expanding the gap between the first and second AstraZeneca (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine (AZN.L) to 16 weeks for people under 60, the government said on Friday, exceeding the 12-week maximum reported by European authorities. approve
Spain was the first country to break free from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorization and promote This will not be approved by regulators and will leave each country responsible for any side effects that may occur.
The extension gives officials more breathing space to determine the safest way to administer vaccines, the health ministry said. Spain initially gave AstraZeneca images to essential workers ages 18-65 before allowing only those over 60 to receive the vaccine due to concerns about blood clots in younger people.
The EMA’s approval for the vaccine is based on a second dose between four and 12 weeks after the first. There has not yet been a 16-week interval test in human trials.
AstraZeneca and the EMA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Spanish move to limit the use of the shot has caused widespread uncertainty and means that some of the younger people who received the first dose will be excluded from receiving a second.
By extending the intervals between doses, officials will be able to evaluate the results of trials in different vaccination combinations before deciding whether those groups will receive a second AstraZeneca injection or another drug.
The Spanish state-sponsored Carlos III Health Institute is already investigating the effects of vaccination Pfizer () and BioNTech () on patients who have received AstraZeneca injections.
Spain’s two-week coronavirus infection rates were slightly lower on Friday at 229 per 100,000 people, compared with 230 on Thursday, according to the health ministry.
The cumulative number of cases rose to 3,524,077, while the total mortality rate was 78,216.
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