Two people have now died of rare blood clots after receiving the shot. The Australian government has called the move a fresh “challenge” to the slow vaccine rollout in the country.
Australia raised the recommended age for receiving the AstraZeneca vaccineto 60 on Thursday. It comes after a 52-year-old woman died of rare blood clots in the brain after receiving the shot.
That was the second death in the country blamed on the AstraZeneca vaccine. A 48-year-old woman died in April of similar problems. The government then recommended that the vaccine should only be given to people over the age of 50.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government “places safety above all else,” and described the decision as conservative and reflective of the low risk of catching COVID-19 in Australia.