The Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) on Thursday banned nationwide the use of a batch of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine due to “serious adverse events” after inoculation.

The agency said in a statement the ban targets batch ABV2856, adding it may consider additional measures, if needed, in coordination with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The Italian agency stressed, however, that at present there is no proved connection between the inoculation of the vaccine and the adverse reactions.

AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine is used to prevent the COVID-19 infection in people aged 18 years and above. It has been designed to prepare the immune system to identify and combat the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causing COVID-19.

The viral vector technology used for this vaccine has already been successfully tested and employed in the prevention of other diseases in several countries.

AIFA is now making all the necessary checks and is acquiring all the documents needed, together with investigators and competent authorities.

The banned batch’s samples will be analyzed by Italy’s Superior Health Institute, it said.

Italy is struggling to move forward with its massive vaccination plan, as some of the vaccine producers have announced delays in their supplies.

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