The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) on Saturday approved the vaccine for all adults but recommended alternatives be given to people aged over 55.
AIFA’s decision comes a day after the European Union gave the green light for the jab, but Germany’s vaccine commission recommended against using it on older people amid doubts over its effectiveness that have been refuted by the company.
AIFA noted “a level of uncertainty” about claims of the jab’s effectiveness in people over the age of 55, because the age group was “poorly represented” in studies so far, although a good antibody response was still observed.
To help with the best use of the vaccine, it recommended “preferential use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, pending further data, in subjects between 18 and 55 years old, for whom more solid evidence is available”.
Italy has recorded 2,560,957 cases of the virus since the start of the pandemic, while the official death toll stands at 88,845.