Portugal says AstraZeneca vaccine preferably only for under-65s

FILE PHOTO: A vial and sryinge are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal’s health ministry said on Monday the AstraZeneca vaccine should preferably be used on under-65s, the latest European country to express reservations about its efficacy on older people.

Still, the ministry said, the vaccination of a person of 65 years or more should not be delayed if the AstraZeneca vaccine is the only one available.

Portugal has recorded 765,414 coronavirus cases and 14,158 deaths

The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived on Sunday, numbering 42,300 doses. The country has so far received just under 390,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 19,200 Moderna doses, the health ministry says.

Germany, France, Austria and Norway have said they will only administer the shot to under-65s, with Poland limiting it to under-60s and Spain and Italy to under-55s.

Reporting by Victoria Waldersee; Editing by Angus MacSwan