Finland, Iceland approve AstraZeneca jab for seniors

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Finland and Iceland announced Wednesday their senior citizens will again be able to have the AstraZeneca vaccination against COVID-19, after halting the jabs over blood clot fears.

"There is no of very rare blood clots for people older than 65 after having the vaccination," said Finland's THL health agency.

"Vaccination in this age bracket can thus go ahead," from Monday.

As a precaution while tests continue, the vaccine will remain suspended for those aged under 65, the agency added.

In Reykjavik, Health Minister Svandis Svavarsdottir had similar "good news", saying those over 70 could again take the AstraZeneca jab.

Iceland halted its use of the vaccine on March 11—the same day as Norway and Denmark—amid reports of post-jab side effects.

The EU drugs regulator EMA last week said the vaccine was "safe and effective" and not linked to a higher risk of blood clots.

Numerous European countries quickly followed EMA recommendations and lifted their suspensions.

Nordic countries decided to carry out further checks.

Denmark and Sweden are due to report their findings on Thursday, followed by Norway on Friday.

Iceland also announced schools and universities will be closed in a bid to halt a jump in the number of COVID-19 cases after hopes the worst was over.

Limits on gatherings will be tightened to 10 people from 50, except in supermarkets.

The new measures will be in force from Wednesday evening and see bars, pools, gyms and nightclubs shut. Restaurants will be able to serve until 2200 GMT.

"The situation calls for tougher measures," said Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir.

© 2021 AFP

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