NEWS

Decision on AstraZeneca vaccine expected on Friday

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No radical change is expected in Greece’s vaccination program with regard to the AstraZeneca vaccine, according to General Secretary of Primary Healthcare Marios Themistocleous.

Speaking to state-run ERT TV in light of the conclusions by the European Medicines Agency regarding the link between the AZ vaccine and blood clots, Themistocleous said Greece’s National Vaccination Committee will discuss whether age restrictions, as is the case in some countries, will apply in the administering of the jab. The committee’s decision is expected on Friday. 

Themistocleous noted that despite the reports about this particular vaccine, and the different approaches taken by individual European Union countries, the percentage of citizens booking appointments for the AZ vaccine remains high, with daily jabs to the tune of 10,000 to 12,000.

The committee’s decision-making is also hampered by the fact that there is no common position among European Union countries while the EMA itself has not made any specific recommendations.

In its report, the EMA states that, so far, most cases of thrombosis have affected women under 60 and occurred within two weeks of the AZ vaccine being administered. It also stressed that the onset of the syndrome is very rare and that the benefits of vaccination in preventing Covid-19 outweigh the risk of side effects.

Vaccinations against Covid-19 in Greece, including both first and second doses, exceeded the 2 million mark on Wednesday, the government announced on Thursday, while estimating that health authorities will administer an additional 1.5 million vaccinations in April.