Greece limits use of AstraZeneca vaccine to people over 30

ATHENS, April 9 (Reuters) - Greece will limit use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people above age 30 following rare cases of blood clots, its national vaccinations committee said on Friday, falling into line with other European countries.

Europe’s medicines regulator said this week it found rare cases of blood clots among some adult recipients of the shot, although the vaccine’s advantages still outweighed its risks.

“The National Vaccination Committee, after evaluating all available data, recommends the continuation of the vaccination programme with all available vaccines, including the AstraZeneca vaccine, to people aged 30 and over,” the committee said in a statement.

The risk of a serious illness and death from COVID-19 “overwhelmingly” outweighed the risk of a possible blood clot following vaccination, especially for ages over 30, it said.

Greece has reported 288,230 cases of COVID-19 and a total of 8,680 deaths. It has administered 378,997 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine so far and ordered another 1.35 million doses.

It has also used the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate more than 2 million people.

Vaccination programmes have stuttered in Europe and elsewhere in the last month, since a very few mostly young recipients of the AstraZeneca shot were found to have suffered extremely unusual blood clots, leading some countries to suspend its use as a precaution or restrict it to people above a certain age. Germany was the first European country to recommend that people under 60 who have had a first AstraZeneca shot should receive a different product for their second dose. (Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Angus MacSwan)