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AstraZeneca Weaker After Australia Limits Covid Shot to People Over 60

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By Dhirendra Tripathi

Investing.com -- AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) shares were down by more than 1% in Thursday’s premarket trading following Australia’s decision to limit the company’s COVID-19 vaccine shots to those aged 60 and above.

Australia has administered 3.3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it has been linked to 60 cases of blood clots, the government said. So far, two people have died, which the country's health minister Greg Hunt said has driven the policy shift, according to Reuters.

Australia in April moved to limit the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to people over 50 years old.

Several European Union member states have stopped administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people below a certain age, usually ranging from 50 years to 65 years, due to very rare cases of blood clotting, mainly among young people.

Australia in April expanded its order of Pfizer 's (NYSE:PFE) COVID-19 vaccine to 40 million doses, while it has also ordered 25 million shots from Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA).

Australia's amended vaccine policy comes as the country's most populous state battles to contain a cluster of COVID-19 cases, Reuters said.

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