The Italian authorities have recommended the use of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for people over 65.
Reported by Reuters.
When European regulators approved the vaccine in January, they said there weren’t enough results to show how effective it was for people over 55. Italy initially indicated 55 as the age limit, but later raised it to 65 before further revisions.
The latest decision by the Ministry of Health lifts any restrictions on use, with the exception of “extremely vulnerable” people.
“The scientific evidence that has become available … suggests that even in people over the age of 65, the vaccine can provide significant protection,” the ministry said.
About 1.5 million of the 6.5 million doses Italy received came from AstraZeneca, official figures show. The vast majority of vaccine doses come from Pfizer, with the rest from Moderna.
As of Monday, Italy, home to some 60 million people, had 5.41 million doses of vaccines, with 1.65 million receiving the recommended two shots.
The German government previously said it would not make the AstraZeneca vaccine available to everyone in the country, although numerous doses remain largely unused due to skepticism about the drug.
Unused stocks of AstraZeneca vaccine are piling up in France and Germany due to people’s reluctance to vaccinate with the drug.