Cyprus is considering restrictions similar to those adopted by Greece and the United Kingdom for the AstraZeneca vaccine, as European health authorities continue to investigate reports of rare blood clots linked to the shot.
In comments to Cyprus’ Alpha TV on Tuesday morning, Health Ministry spokesperson Margarita Kyriakou indicated that the country’s expert committee is likely to recommend an age limit on the vaccine – Greece and the UK have prohibited it being administered to people under the age of 30 – or “some other type of restriction.”
However, “the ratio of people becoming ill from the AstraZeneca shot is infinitesimal compared to the other risks they face on a day-to-day basis,” she added, echoing the European Medicines Agency, which has said that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks.
Bulgaria on Monday also said that it may halt rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, following the lead of several other countries that have either stopped or limited its use in their coronavirus vaccination drives.
In a related development, meanwhile, US infectious disease official Anthony Fauci appeared guarded about AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday, indicating that it may not be used in America.
“I think that the AstraZeneca vaccine from a standpoint of efficacy is a good vaccine, and if the safety issue gets straightened out in the European Union… the efficacy of that vaccine is really quite good,” he told BBC radio on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
“Whether or not we ever use AZ is unclear but it looks right now at this point in time that we will not need it. It’s not a negative indictment of AZ, it is just possible that given the supply that we have from other companies that we may not need to use an AZ vaccine,” he added.