Cyprus health officials have advised people under the age of 50 to use Pfizer / BioNotech or Modern vaccines that are based on new, mRNA technology.
The Ministry of Health said the decision came after a “majority of blood clots reported serious incidents”, following a majority recommendation by its panel of scientific advisors on COVID-19.
It did not provide further details. Cyprus media has widely reported on the death of a 39-year-old woman – allegedly from Brain Hemorrhage – about two weeks after receiving the AstraZeneca shot, although it was unclear whether Jab was actually linked to her death. .
The advisory body of the ministry also unanimously decided that those who have already got their first shot of AstraZeneca and have not suffered serious side effects such as blood clots, should receive their follow-up, which the ministry said “Especially important for their safety is COVID-19 and its variants.”
Zoe Pana, a member of the advisory body, told private TV station Alpha that a person’s chances of suffering from blood clots or other serious side effects on the second shot of AstraZeneca are minimal.
Earlier on Wednesday, Constantino Tissotis, the head of the advisory body, told state broadcaster CyBC that some scientists had suggested the AstraZeneca vaccine be completely bypassed.
The Ministry of Health has already sought guidance from the European Medicine Agency on whether the death of a 39-year-old British woman was definitely linked to the AstraZeneca jab this week. Several other incidents of developing blood clots have been reported in individuals who had previously received an AstraZeneca shot.
Health officials say the rate of infection on the nearly 900,000 eastern Mediterranean island nation has dropped substantially due to the government’s earliest vaccination program. About 50.4% of people have taken at least one vaccine shot so far while 23.7% have been fully vaccinated.
Health Minister Constantinos Iono said Cyprus expects to deliver 201,000 doses of Pfizer / Bioentech vaccine next month, 24,000 doses of Modern, 35,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson and 90,000 doses of EstriZeneca.
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