Germany becomes 9th country to suspend Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine over clotting concerns
London, March 15, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Germany has suspended the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine following advice from its national regulator to probe reports of blood clots.
Nine countries, including Ireland, the Netherlands and Indonesia, have now temporarily stopped using the vaccine after reports of people suffering blood clots in the days and weeks after receiving a jab.
The World Health Organisation (WHO), Boris Johnson and British experts have sought to reassure people about the safety of the vaccine.
WHO said there is no indication of any links between blood clotting and the administration of the vaccine.
The German Health Ministry said the decision was taken as a “precaution” and on the advice of Germany’s national vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which called for further investigation of the cases.
In a statement, the ministry said the European Medicines Agency would decide “whether and how the new information will affect the authorization of the vaccine.”
In its statement, the health ministry said the reported blood clots involved cerebral veins, but didn’t specify where or when the incidents occurred. Several other European countries have temporarily halted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days to investigate cases of blood clots that occurred after vaccination
AstraZeneca has said there is no cause for concern with its vaccine and that there were fewer reported thrombosis cases in those who received the shot than in the general population.
The European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization have also said that available data do not suggest the vaccine caused the clots and that people should continue to be immunized.
According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Germany has received slightly over 3 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine and only used 1.35 million doses so far.
The UK medicines regulator said people should carry on getting their jabs as evidence “does not suggest” the vaccine causes clots
The head of the Oxford University vaccine group, Professor Andrew Pollard, said that while it was right that regulators investigated reports of blood clots in people who have had the vaccine, data from millions of people was “very reassuring” that there was no link.