Germany suspends AstraZeneca jabs over reported clot risks: Health Ministry

WION Web Team
Berlin, Germany Published: Mar 15, 2021, 08:30 PM(IST)

Vials labelled "AstraZeneca COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken March 10, 2021 (File Photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

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Germany on Monday halted the use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine after reported blood clotting incidents in Europe, saying that a closer look was necessary. 

Germany on Monday suspended the use of the Astra Zeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, over new reports of dangerous blood clots in connection with the shot.

The 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.

"After new reports of thromboses of the cerebral veins in connection with the vaccination in Germany and Europe, the PEI considers further investigations to be necessary," said the German health ministry.

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"The European Medicines Agency EMA will decide whether and how the new findings will affect the approval of the vaccine," it added.

Denmark, Iceland and Norway have already stopped administering the shot while Italy has banned the use of a batch of AstraZeneca doses as a precaution after an unconfirmed number of people developed blood clots.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization appealed to countries not to pause vaccination campaigns after two more European nations and one in Asia joined handfuls which have suspended the use of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine over safety fears.

The WHO said its advisory panel was reviewing reports related to the shot and would release its findings as soon as possible. But it said it was unlikely to change its recommendations, issued last month, for widespread use, including in countries where the South African variant of the virus may reduce its efficacy.

AstraZeneca's shot was among the first and cheapest to be developed and launched at volume since the coronavirus was first identified in central China at the end of 2019 and is set to be the mainstay of vaccination programmes in much of the developing world. The virus has killed more than 2.7 million people.

(With inputs from agencies)

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