Pakistan prohibits people under 40 with allergies from taking AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

The Nation  |  May 11, 2021

Pakistan has restricted its citizens under 40 years of age and those with a history of severe allergic reaction to any component of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from taking the jab, the health ministry stated on Monday.

According to the interim guidelines issued by the health ministry on Sunday, about administering the AstraZeneca vaccine; people who developed blood clotting issues after receiving the first dose of the vaccine should not take the second dose.

Those with active gastrointestinal bleeding or seizure, or a history of heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and thrombosis are also stopped from opting to get the AstraZeneca vaccine administered, the guidelines suggested.

The decision follows reports in some countries of rare blood clotting and low platelets events in people, especially those below 50 years, after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Pakistan received its first shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccines on Saturday under the COVAX Facility, a World Health Organization-led initiative aimed at ensuring equal access to COVID-19 vaccines by various countries.

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Pakistan is currently facing a third wave of COVID-19, and to bring the situation under control, the government is taking stringent measures including locking down almost the whole country during the ongoing Eidul Fitr holidays, and accelerating the vaccination process.

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