A nurse displays a vial of Covishield, the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Picture: REUTERS/FRANCIS MASCARENHAS
A nurse displays a vial of Covishield, the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Picture: REUTERS/FRANCIS MASCARENHAS

Warsaw  — Poland will use AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine only for people aged 18-60, the government said on Tuesday, following a recommendation from the country's medical council.

Europe's medicines regulator approved the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University for use on people over the age of 18 on Friday, but said there were not yet enough results for people aged over 55 to determine how well the vaccine will work.

“Yesterday evening, the medical council submitted recommendations regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, on the basis of which it was decided that it will be used in Poland for people between the ages of 18 and 60,” Michal Dworczyk, who is Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki's top aide and is in charge of Poland's vaccination programme, told a news conference.

Poland's decision follows recommendations by medical experts in Germany and Austria that the vaccine should be given only to people aged between 18 and 64.

SA received its first consignment of the AstraZeneca vaccine  on Monday.

Meanwhile, Poland's agriculture ministry  reported at the weekend it had  found its first case of Covid-19 in mink, raising fears of costly culls in an industry that supports more than 350 farms in the country.

With new variants threatening global efforts to control the pandemic, authorities in several countries have begun mass mink culls due to fears of a mutated strain being transmitted to humans. The ministry said in a statement on Sunday it had been informed by veterinary inspectors on Saturday of a case in Kartuzy county in northern Poland.

Denmark, the world's top exporter of mink furs, ordered a cull of the country's entire population of about 17-million mink in 2020, and in January announced it would provide farmers with compensate of  19-billion Danish krone ($3.09bn).  The Polish fur industry said the state had not offered any compensation for culling animals yet.  



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