The Public Health Commission of the Ministry of Health, with the participation of technicians from the autonomous communities, has decided this afternoon to extend the age range for the general population of the AstraZeneca / Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine to 69 years. The decision is “to continue vaccinating with AstraZeneca the 60-65 age group that is currently being vaccinated and that the next group to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca is that of 66 to 69 years (5C), in order to complete the vaccination of population most vulnerable to COVID-19, other vaccines may be used depending on availability. ”
Spain suspends vaccination with AstraZeneca for children under 60 years of age and leaves the decision on who awaits the second dose pending
Yesterday, the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System decided to suspend vaccination with this drug in children under 60 years of age after a report by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that found a link between a few cases of thrombi (among the almost 20 million vaccinated on the continent with these doses) with the vaccine, although it did not recommend age limitations.
That is, by this last decision of Public Health this Thursday, the administration of the now called Vaxzevria (formerly, simply the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine) is allowed among the general population between 60 and 69 years old, those born between 1952 and 1961. First , those between 65 and 60; then, those between 69 and 66. The AstraZeneca vaccine has been administered in Spain mainly to personnel considered essential (some health workers, teachers, military personnel, security forces) under 55 years of age. The first age barrier was set in February, when it was available in Spain, and consisted of not administering it to people over 55 years of age, due to lack of evidence of safety in that group, which now exists.
Last week, Health raised the recommended age limit, but continued to direct it only to essential personnel and the general population under 65 years of age. This change means that the general population in the segment of 66 to 69 years can also be vaccinated with this product. That range, along with that of 70-79 years, you are currently in the queue for the campaign based on administered dose data, despite being considered the most risky after those over 80 years of age. The other vaccines available in Spain, Pfizer and Moderna, are being used for those over 80 years of age and then they will go to those over 70, but several communities have not finished with the former.
Regarding people under 60 years of age who were pending to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca because they were due according to the strategy, the Commission reiterates that their appointments and calendars are postponed. And “with regard to people who have received a first dose of AstraZeneca, the Commission will communicate the decision on the second dose shortly as the scientific evidence, the EMA evaluations and in communication with other EU countries are updated and expanded. “. Minister Carolina Darias admitted on Wednesday that they are still evaluating what to do with people in that situation, more than a million in Spain. One option would be not to give them the second dose, another to give them the second dose of another product. “There is margin,” he explained today, because it began to be used in February, and with the indication that there are three months between guidelines, it is time to administer the second doses from May.
The EMA did not recommend suspending vaccinations among those under 60 years of age or among any other specific profile. The EMA noted that “the benefits of the vaccine continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive it. The vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 and reducing hospitalizations and deaths.” Several countries, including Belgium and Italy, opted as Spain yesterday afternoon, after the EMA press conference announcing its conclusions and an emergency meeting of European health ministers, for limiting vaccination with Vaxzervria de young people.