Slovenia: Experts propose halt of younger people’s vaccination with AstraZeneca drug

Slovenia: Experts propose halt of younger people’s vaccination with AstraZeneca drug

The head of Slovenia’s vaccination advisory group, Bojana Beović, said the group proposed that younger people stop getting vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine until all questions regarding serious undesired side effects are clarified.

While vaccination in the country is kicking off for people aged 60+, younger people are also vaccinated in line with priority groups set down in the vaccination strategy.

“We will wait for a while until some dilemmas around the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine for younger people are clarified. In this period, the vaccination of younger people will be suspended,” Beović told POP TV last evening.

Slovenia briefly suspended the vaccination process with the AstraZeneca vaccine on 15 March after several European countries decided to halt its use following reports of blood clots.

The vaccine is now once again causing concern due to incidents of thrombosis, although Beović explained that a causal relationship has yet to be fully proved.

Since some younger people have already received the first dose, Beović said a 12-week window until the second jab should provide enough time for a final decision to be reached on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency is expected to issue a new recommendation on Wednesday.

Slovenia’s National Public Health Institute recommended the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for persons aged 65+ and for particularly vulnerable patients facing chronic illnesses regardless of age, but also for residents of care homes, while recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine for persons aged 60-64 and for older persons if they express interest in it.

Slovenia confirmed 293 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, roughly similar to the week before. Just over 18% of all PCR tests came back positive, significantly lower from the rates well over 20% throughout the week, yet still higher from previous Sundays, that latest government data show. Seven persons with Covid-19 died. /ibna