Italy recommends AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 55
Italy will administer the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to people under 55 years old. They will start administering the vaccine to schoolteachers, army and police forces, prison staff and inmates.
The decision follows a Wednesday meeting between the government and regional governors to discuss the country’s vaccine campaign guidelines, the press office for the Ministry of Regional Affairs said Thursday.
People over 55 years old, especially those over 80s and the most vulnerable, will receive shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, the press office added.
Vaccines need to be approved by the Italian Medicines Agency before they can be distributed in Italy.
On Tuesday, the Italian Medicines Agency, Aifa, said they needed more data on the AstraZeneca vaccine. In a news release they said:
”Pending further studies, the indication concerning AstraZeneca vaccine remains preferentially for the population between 18 and 55 years and without serious illnesses.” Before recommending the vaccine for those over 55, the agency will wait for “further evidence on the benefit/risk ratio of the AstraZeneca vaccine” for that age group.
The news comes as Italy’s total Covid-19 death toll surpassed 90,000 on Thursday, according to official data.
The AstraZeneca vaccine was approved by the agency on Jan. 30th.