- Italy's prime minister and his wife were given the AstraZeneca-Oxford coronavirus vaccine.
- Italy was among several EU countries that suspended its use over fears of possible side effects.
- The EU medicine regulator reiterated it was safe, and European leaders are backing the shot.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
Italy's prime minister and his wife were vaccinated with AstraZeneca's COVID-19 jab on Tuesday as countries try to build trust in it.
Mario Draghi and his wife, Maria Serenella Cappello, were given the shot in line with the country's vaccination rollout, as they are both age 73, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported.
Italy was one of more than a dozen European countries that temporarily suspended the use of the AstraZeneca shot earlier this month over the possibility of side effects.
Germany, France, and Denmark also temporarily stopped using the vaccine, codeveloped by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, during investigations into whether it was linked to a higher risk for blood clots. Inoculations resumed after the European medicines regulator looked at the vaccine again and said it was "safe and effective."
That regulator, the European Medicines Agency, said the vaccine was not linked to an "overall risk" of blood clots, and while it did not rule out links to certain rare blood-clotting conditions, it said the vaccine's benefits outweighed any risks.
The director general of Italy's medicines authority, AIFA, had called the decision to suspend the vaccine's use "political" and said that the vaccine was safe.
But the temporary suspension and blood-clot investigations contributed to an already-shaky confidence in the vaccine in Europe that has led some people to turn it down.
European leaders are now trying to repair that damage and express their confidence in the shot.
Draghi announced at a press conference on March 19 that he would be getting the AstraZeneca shot, according to La Repubblica.
Italy was the first European country to be devastated by the coronavirus last year, and it remains one of the worst-hit countries.