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Belgium pauses AstraZeneca vaccine for people 55 and under

April 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 22%. 2 min read.

FILE - In this Wednesday, March 17, 2021 file photo, people rest after being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Brabanthal event center in Heverlee, Belgium. The European Commission has said its wants to have vaccinated a minimum of 70 percent of the entire adult population by the end of summer. But is is counting on a strong second quarter of vaccine production to reach a threshold of immunity already by the end of June. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

Belgium has paused use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for people aged 18 to 55 years old, national and regional health ministers announced in a statement.

They said their decision follows a review by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) earlier today, saying there was a “possible link” between the vaccine and rare blood clots.

In their statement, Belgium's Ministers said that based on recent scientific advice, they “have decided to temporarily replace AstraZeneca with another vaccine for people aged 18 to 55 years. ”

“All vaccines continue to be used for people aged 56 and over,” the statement reads, emphasizing that the EMA has said the benefits of AstraZeneca still outweigh any risks.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said Wednesday that a particular combination of unusual blood clots with low blood platelet counts should be listed as a side effect of the vaccine, but stopped short of recommending its use be limited.

Earlier on Wednesday, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that a particular combination of unusual blood clots with low blood platelet counts should be listed as a side effect of the vaccine, but stopped short of recommending its use be limited.

Turkey reported at least 276 new deaths over the last 24 hours, the highest number of deaths in one day since the start of the pandemic, according to Turkish health ministry data released on Wednesday.

"This is encouraging early data, covering the month of February, and shows progress toward the President's goal to have K through 8th grade schools open five days a week," said Andy Slavitt, White House senior adviser for Covid-19 response at Wednesday's Covid-19 Response Team briefing.

The World Health Organization said it was “plausible” there was a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare cases of blood clots.

Earlier Wednesday, the European and British medicines regulators announced a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare cases of blood clots, with the UK announcing it would offer under 30s an alternative vaccine.

On Wednesday, the day after Brazil reported the record death toll, Bolsonaro again criticized the adoption of restrictive measures to halt the spread of Covid-19 in Brazil and said there won't be a national lockdown.

Earlier Wednesday, the European and British medicines regulators announced a “possible link” between the AstraZeneca vaccine and rare cases of blood clots, with the UK announcing it would offer people under 30 an alternative vaccine.

“In the context of vaccination, we still need to have our case counts be really low to stop circulating virus, to stop the emergence of variants, to stop hospitalizations, and ultimately to stop deaths," she said.

“What we will almost certainly see, as we get more and more proportion of the population vaccinated, is that those case count numbers will come down,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at the White House briefing.

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