Spain will allow the vaccination people between 66 and 69 years old with doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine starting this Friday (9 April) and up to 5.5 million people could benefit from the decision.
The Ministry of Health’s Public Health Commission agreed this Thursday to use the vaccine to additionally immunise this group and not only people aged between 60 and 65, as was originally announced on Thursday morning when it was also confirmed that the AstraZeneca formula would no longer be given to the under-60s.
Until a few weeks ago, the administration of the vaccine - developed by the University of Oxford - was limited to people under 56 years of age. It was later expanded to people aged between 56 and 65.
Now, after a new investigation into dozens of cases of blood clots among those vaccinated with the British vaccine, Spain’s Interterritorial Council has agreed that only those over 60 will receive this vaccine.
It is not yet known what will happen to those under 60 who have already received the first dose of AstraZeneca in Spain, although the usual protocol is to keep the second dose scheduled if no side effects have been detected after the first.
The Ministry of Health still believes the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweigh the risks, especially in the elderly, the most vulnerable to coronavirus.
The debate came after the European Union reaffirmed its support for AstraZeneca but recognised blood clots as "very rare" side effects.
After an investigation the European Medicines Agency concluded: the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any possible risk and urged governments to continue its use.
Meanwhile UK advised against the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine among people under thirty years of age. Trials of the Oxford vaccine on children in the UK have also been suspended on a precautionary basis.