Spain to resume use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Vial labelled “AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine” and a broken syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration picture.

Spain will resume administering AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine from next Wednesday, Health Minister Carolina Darias said on Thursday.

“The decision was taken unanimously as the benefits outweighed the risks, in line with the findings from the European Medicines Agency,” Darias told a news briefing after a meeting with regional health chiefs on the subject.

Spain and about a dozen other countries had suspended the use of the shot earlier this week after reports of blood disorders, but the EU drugs regulator EMA said earlier on Thursday it was convinced the benefits of the vaccine were greater than the risks.

Spain, which aims to vaccinate 70% of its 47 million population by the end of the summer, has already given the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to almost one million people out of a total of 7.68 million vaccines administered in Spain.

Early signs suggest the vaccination campaign is already helping to slow transmission, health officials have said, with the country’s infection rate measured over the past two weeks now hovering around 128 cases per 100,000 people, down sharply for a peak of 900 in late January.

The Health Ministry added 6,216 cases on Thursday to its tally than now stands at 3.21 million, while the death toll rose by 117 to 72,910.

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