Italy on Monday recommended the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for those over age 65, the health ministry said in a statement, overcoming previous doubts that the drug might not be very effective among the elderly.
The decision came as Italy looked likely to surpass 100,000 COVID-related deaths, becoming the second country in Europe to reach the grim milestone after Britain, and almost one year to the day since a national lockdown was enforced on March 10, 2020.
The rising toll comes against the backdrop of growing cases, with several regions tightening restrictions to battle infections. As of March 8, the country had registered 99,785 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak began in February last year – the seventh-highest in the world. It has reported 3.07 million cases to date.
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