Health Ministry: Under-60s won’t get AstraZeneca, Johnson&Johnson vaccines

The Health Ministry has issued a recommendation that the AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson coronavirus vaccines only be given to over 60-year-olds, the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday.

In its decision, the Health Ministry followed earlier recommendations from the Czech Vaccinology Association and the State Drug Control Agency. The move also follows similar age restrictions issued by other EU member states.

The recommendation does not apply to those individuals younger than 60 who have already received one dose of either AstraZeneca or Johnson&Johnson. These will be inoculated with the same vaccine in their second dose.

The reason for the age limitation of these two vaccines is the very rare side effect of thrombocytopenia syndrome, in which blood clots form mainly in the brain. According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the incidence of such blood clots occuring is estimated at 0.01 percent of those vaccinated, mostly at a younger age.

Author: Tom McEnchroe