Clarifications for administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to be delivered soon: Italian Health Minister

Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza says European countries, including his, are hoping that the European Medicines Agencies on Thursday will deliver “the clarifications and reassurances necessary” to be able to resume administering the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Italy was one of several nations that in recent days halted the AstraZeneca jabs over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though the company and international regulators say there is no evidence the shot is to blame.

Speranza told a parliamentary Social Affairs Commission on Wednesday that it is Italy’s hope “to have by tomorrow answers from EMA that will enable the relaunching without hesitation of the vaccine campaign” using AstraZeneca doses.

He said the Italian government “has utmost trust in EMA” as well as in Italy’s medicine agency, adding, “we insist on the utmost safety and we are paying the utmost attention to what has happened.”

So far, just under 10% of Italy’s population have received at least one dose of a vaccine. Speranza told lawmakers that some 50 million doses of vaccines, including for the first time in Italy the Johnson & Johnson one-dose injection, were expected to arrive through June, while some 80 million doses are due to arrive between July and September.

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