MILAN (Reuters) - The head of the EU drug regulator's COVID-19 task force said on Sunday that AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine had a favourable risk-benefit profile for all age groups and particularly for those aged over 60.
Italian newspaper La Stampa earlier quoted European Medicines Agency (EMA) task force chief Marco Cavaleri as saying countries should avoid giving the vaccine to people aged over 60 in addition to younger age groups, amid fears over fears over very rare blood clotting and as alternative vaccines become available.
"Unfortunately my words have not been interpreted correctly in a recent interview with La Stampa," Cavaleri said in a statement to Reuters. The AstraZeneca shot "maintains a favourable benefit risk profile in all ages but particularly in the elderly above 60," he said.
The EMA's position is that the AstraZeneca shot is safe and can be used for all age groups over 18. However several European Union member states have restricted its use to those in the age range 50 to 65, due to very rare cases of blood clotting, mainly among young people.
(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; Editing by Frances Kerry)