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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled

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ROME (Reuters) – Italy on Monday suspended the use of the AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:) COVID-19 vaccine, making it the latest European country to put the product on hold following reports of recipients falling ill.

The announcement came shortly after Germany took the same step, and followed the seizure of hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine by Italian prosecutors in the northern region of Piedmont.

The Italian medicines authority AIFA said it was taking the decision as a “precautionary and temporary measure” pending rulings by the European Medicines Agency.

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