AstraZeneca shots have good risk-benefit profile for over 60s, says EMA official

() – The head of the EU drug regulator’s COVID-19 task force said on Sunday that AstraZeneca’s (AZN.L) coronavirus vaccine had a favorable risk-benefit profile for all age groups and particularly for those aged over 60.

Italian newspaper La Stampa earlier quoted European Medicines Agency (EMA) task force chief Marco Cavaleri as saying countries should avoid giving the vaccine to people aged over 60 in addition to younger age groups, amid fears over very rare blood clotting and as alternative vaccines become available.

“Unfortunately my words have not been interpreted correctly in a recent interview with La Stampa,” Cavaleri said in a statement to Reuters. The AstraZeneca shot “maintains a favourable benefit risk profile in all ages but particularly in the elderly above 60,” he said.

Syringes with AstraZeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines are prepared in Fasano Italy, April 13, 2021. REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

The EMA’s position is that the AstraZeneca shot is safe and can be used for all age groups over 18. However several European Union member states have stopped administering it to people below a certain age, usually ranging from 50 to 65, restricting its use to older people, due to very rare cases of blood clotting, mainly among young people.