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AstraZeneca and J&J vaccines at under 60, what Palù (Aifa) says

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Vaccines AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson in Italy for the under 60s? “The EMA has not set age and sex conditions for this type of adenoviral vector vaccine. Our agency has foreseen a preferential use over the age of 60, it does not mean excluding other choices”. This was stated by Giorgio Palù, virologist and president of the Italian drug agency (Aifa), in an interview with ‘Corriere della Sera’. But would it be advisable to direct young people to other products? “The benefits of AstraZeneca – warns Palù – always outweigh the risks, from 18 years upwards, but administration at a young age should be considered very carefully taking into account the events of deep vein thrombosis with platelet deficiency reported especially in people under 60. years “. President Aifa then confirming that the second dose of messenger RNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna) will be spaced 42 days from the first and no more than the 3 and 4 weeks initially planned:” By postponing the recall, we immediately cover 3 million of 60-year-olds at risk, “he explains. “It has been calculated that by doing so, sufficient doses are available to quickly protect about 3 million over 60s, currently less covered by the vaccine and exposed to a significant risk of mortality from Covid 19, equal to 13%.” But the Pfizer company disputes and recalls that its compound was studied for a second administration at 21 days. “An industry cannot dictate choices that depend on regulatory bodies and that are also taken on the basis of the results observed in the field, on tens of millions of people and therefore not limited to validation studies on a few tens of thousands of cases”, he warns the president of Aifa. What was seen on the field? “We realized – remember – that the second dose can be moved up to 42 days without affecting either the protection against the disease which remains high, up to 70%, or the antibody response. I repeat, the position of Aifa and Health are a real indication to address a relative shortage of stocks in a particular phase “.

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