Pakistanis under 40, those with allergies barred from taking AstraZeneca jab


Pakistan has barred 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 said.

According to the interim guidelines issued by the 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, reports Xinhua news agency.

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 said.

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, local media reported.

Pakistan received its first shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccines on May 8 under the COVAX Facility, a World Health Organization-led initiative aimed at ensuring equal access to Covid-19 vaccines by various countries, according to the reports.

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