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apple developer enterprise account for rent:AstraZeneca woes grow as Australia, Philippines, African Union curb COVID-19 shots

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Australia and the Philippines limited use of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, while the African Union dropped plans to buy the shot amid global shortages, dealing further blows to the company's hopes to deliver a vaccine for the world.

The vaccine - developed with Oxford University and considered a frontrunner in the global vaccine race - has been plagued by safety concerns and supply problems since Phase III trial results were published in December, with Indonesia the latest country forced to seek doses from other drugmakers.

The Philippines suspended the use of AstraZeneca shots for people under age 60 after Europe's regulator said on Wednesday it found rare cases of blood clots among some adult recipients, although it still believes that the vaccine’s benefits outweighed its risks.

Australia recommended people under 50 should get Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in preference to AstraZeneca's, a policy shift it warned would hold up its inoculation campaign.

AstraZeneca's shot is sold at cost, for a few dollars a dose. It is by far the cheapest and most high-volume launched so far, and has none of the extreme refrigeration requirements of some other COVID-19 vaccines, making it likely to be the mainstay of many inoculation programmes in the developing world.

But more than a dozen countries have at one time suspended or partially suspended use of the shot, first on concerns about efficacy in older people, and now on worries about rare dangerous side effects in younger people.

That, coupled with production setbacks, will delay the rollout of vaccines across the globe as governments scramble to find alternatives to tame the pandemic that has killed more than 3 million.

'EXTREMELY RARE'

Italy on Wednesday joined France, the Netherlands, Germany and others in recommending a minimum age for recipients of AstraZeneca's shot, and Britain said people under 30 should get an alternative. South Korea also suspended use of the vaccine in people under 60 this week, while approving Johnson & Johnson's one-dose vaccine.

AstraZeneca has said it is working with British and European regulators to list possible brain blood clots as "an extremely rare potential side-effect".

South Africa also paused AstraZeneca vaccinations last month after a small trial showed the shot offered minimal protection against mild-to-moderate illness caused by the dominant local coronavirus variant.

AstraZeneca is grappling with production issues that have led to shortfalls of its vaccine in several countries.

Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said on Thursday the country was in talks with China on getting as many as 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to plug a gap in deliveries caused by delays in the arrival of AstraZeneca shots.

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