Pakistan will ban those aged under 40 years from receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine until further analysis of the data, authorities said on Sunday.
The health ministry will also restrict those with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine.
Health Director-General Dr. Rana Muhammad Safdar said the decision was based on the recommendations of an expert committee, he told The News.
The two main changes include that the ban will be for those aged under 40 years regardless of gender and that the interval of doses will be fixed at 12 weeks instead of the range of 8-12 weeks as mentioned earlier.
“All decisions are evidence-based to optimally ensure the safety and efficacy of all vaccines authorized for use in Pakistan. Additionally, an efficient system is in place for adverse event surveillance in accordance with the global guidelines. It is heartening that all events reported so far are of minor nature and fully recovered,” Dr. Safdar said.
This after reports of rare blood clot cases in several countries such as the UK, usually occurring in younger people.
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