EMA ruling prompts change in vaccination strategy for Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
EMA ruling

MADRID – Spain will immediately vaccinate people between 60 and 65 years only with AstraZeneca. This latest change to the vaccination campaign comes after the latest (European Medicines Agency) EMA ruling. The agency confirmed thrombosis and platelet deficiencies are very rare side effects of the vaccine. 

Therefore, with immediate effect, Spain has chosen to vaccinate people between the ages of 60 and 65 only with AstraZeneca. This was decided following the Inter-territorial health council of the health ministers from the member states in the European Union. The meeting sought to reach a common position on the administration of AstraZeneca. This was following several reports of thrombosis and platelet deficiency in 169 registered cases.

Spain is following its own course 

However, the meeting ended without mutual agreement on the continuation of the vaccination with AstraZeneca. This means each country will decide for itself on how to follow up on this. The Spanish Ministry of Health will continue vaccinating with AstraZeneca, but only for people 60 and 65 years of age. Later this week it will be decided whether this target group will be expanded to people up to 69 years old.

Casa Las Dunas Spain

What happens to under 60s who have already received a dose? 

Minister Darias said the Ministry will make a decision this week regarding people under the age of 60 who have already received a first dose. The possibilities being examined are whether these people will receive a second dose with a different vaccine or whether a single dose and a lower protection rate of about 70% will be sufficient.

EMA ruling on AstraZeneca 

The EMA announced on Wednesday that 34 million doses had been administered in Europe. Of this, 169 cases of thrombosis were identified in people under the age of 60 who had received the vaccine. That is roughly one person in 100,000. The blood clots were most often found in women under the age of 60, about two weeks after receiving the vaccine.

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