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Belgium restricts AstraZeneca vaccine use

For the time being, Belgium will only vaccinate people over 55 with the coronavirus vaccine from AstraZeneca. The country wants to protect young people from a very rare but dangerous side effect, a combination of thrombosis and low platelet counts.

The European Union’s medicines regulator now believes it is likely that the vaccine causes the complaints. But this European Medicines Agency (EMA) wants to continue to use AstraZeneca, repeated Wednesday. The EEA leaves it to EU countries to exclude women and young people because they appear to be more at risk. According to the regulator, proof of this has not yet been provided.

Belgium has so far continued to administer the vaccine of the plagued British-Swedish manufacturer, without discrimination. The Netherlands and other neighbouring countries decided, pending further EMA research, not to give the vaccine to people under 55 or 60 years of age. Minister Hugo de Jonge (public health) will decide on Thursday whether it will remain so.

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