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Italy halts AstraZeneca vaccine for under-60s after teenager dies

ROME: The Italian government said on Friday it was restricting the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to people over the age of 60, after a teenager who had taken the shot died from a blood clot.

Camilla Canepa died on Thursday aged 18 after being given the vaccine on May 25, triggering a storm of controversy in Italy over the Anglo-Swedish brand being given to adults of all ages despite previously-raised medical concerns.

“AstraZeneca will only be used for people over 60,” the country’s special COVID commissioner Francesco Figliuolo told reporters at a news conference.

Earlier in the day, Europe’s drug regulator identified another rare blood condition as a potential side effect of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine and said it was looking into cases of heart inflammation after inoculation with all coronavirus shots.

The European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) safety committee said that capillary leak syndrome must be added as a new side effect to labelling on AstraZeneca’s vaccine, known as Vaxzevria.

People who had previously sustained the condition, where fluids leak from the smallest blood vessels causing swelling and a drop in blood pressure, should not receive the shot, the EMA added.

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