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Belgium lowers minimum age limit for AstraZeneca vaccine

Credit: Belga

People aged 41 and over will be able to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in Belgium following an official decision to lower the minimum age limit across the country.

This overturns the previously announced restriction limiting the vaccine to those over 55 years old due to the rare risk of thrombosis. 

People who have received a first dose of the vaccine will still receive a second dose regardless of their age, Flemish Minister of Welfare Wouter Beke announced on Saturday.

The interministerial conference also decided that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will not have any age limit. 

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The pharmaceutical company announced that it would resume deliveries of its coronavirus vaccine to European countries following the European Medicines Agency (EMA) review on Tuesday.

EMA said that it believes the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the possible risks, but did include the combination of thrombosis and low platelet count as a possible “very rare” side effect on the package leaflet – prompting Johnson & Johnson to resume its deliveries.

“We strongly believe in the positive benefits of our single-shot, easily transportable Covid-19 vaccine to help protect the health of people everywhere and reach communities in need globally,” said Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels.

Jules Johnston
The Brussels Times