Again, Germany suspends Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after 31 new cases of blood cut
London, March 31, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Germany will suspend using the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the under-60s over concerns about rare blood clots.
Officials agreed unanimously to only give the jab to people aged 60 or older, unless they are at high risk from COVID-19 or are health workers, following a recommendation from the country’s independent vaccine expert panel.
The country’s medical regulator earlier released new data showing a total of 31 unusual blood clots, linked to nine deaths, were reported in Germany up until Monday.
Tens of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been safely given out around the world and Germany has administered 2.7 million doses, highlighting the incidents remain very rare.
It has joined Canada, Sweden, France and Finland in pausing the vaccine for its younger population until more data is gathered.Advertisement
The suspensions go against the findings of the EU’s drugs regulator, which concluded the vaccine was “safe and effective” after conducting a review into the rare blood clotting incidents.
The European Medicines Agency said the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risk – given the prevalence and dangers of COVID-19 – and ruled the vaccine does not increase the overall number of blood clots found in the population.
It did not, however, rule out a link between the shot and some unusual kinds of clots.
Scientists have also pointed out that COVID-19 itself can cause blood clotting, as well as factors such as pregnancy and the contraceptive pill.
Sky News quotes Professor Adam Finn at the University of Bristol saying: “What seems clear is that the risks to individuals in age groups currently being targeted for vaccination in the UK of death and of dangerous blood clots are greatly reduced by receiving this vaccine, because it reliably prevents severe COVID-19 which definitely causes many deaths and blood clots and which poses a much larger and clearer risk than any possible rare vaccine side effects that may exist…
“Right now the biggest risk to our lives and livelihoods in this country and throughout the world is COVID-19.” The new story of AstraZeneca in Germany is certainly not over yet