AstraZeneca vaccinations restart in Italy

(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 19 – AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations,
suspended earlier this week until an all clear from the European
Medicines Agency Thursday, restarted in Italy Friday.
    People resumed getting the Oxfod-AZ jab in the defence ministry
drive-through at Milan’s Trenno park, the biggest in Italy.
    They then resumed at other defence ministry drive-thru centres
in Rome, Caserta and Cosenza.
    Italy resumed vaccinating people with the AstraZeneca COVID-19
jab on Friday after EMA pronounced it safe and effective after a
review Thursday, saying there was no causal link with blood
clots.
    “The Italian government welcomes EMA’s pronouncement on the
AstraZeneca vaccine,” Premier Mario Draghi said. “The
government’s priority remains that of achieving the highest
number of vaccinations in the shortest time possible”.
    The director general of Italian drugs agency AIFA, Nicola
Magrini, told a press conference earlier Friday that the jab had
been re-authorised after the all-clear from EMA. Magrini said
that “the vaccine is safe without age limits or side effects”
and that a link between the jab and rare blood clots or
thrombosis had not been shown.
    Magrini said women on the pill should have no qualms about
getting the jab. Magrini however advised against the use of
aspirin and heparin as blood thinners.
    Speaking at the same press conference, health ministry
prevention chief Gianni Rezza said putting the brake on the
vaccine rollout would be very risky given the high rate of
cases, and that after the pause in the AstraZeneca programme,
vaccinations would now be doubled. Rezza said there would be no
chance in vaccination procedures but that the leaflet on
informed consent would be updated.
    EMA has said it will continue to investigate very rare blood
clots that have occurred after vaccination. Higher Health
Council (CSS) chief Franco Locatelli said there had been 25
clots out of more than 20 million vaccinations, and COVID was by
far the greater danger. Locatelli said those who refuse the
AstraZeneca jab would be contacted to get other vaccines. He
said there was “no reason” to stop giving the jab to the
under-55s, as France has done. (ANSA).
   

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