Coronavirus: Germany suspends AstraZeneca vaccine amid blood clot concerns

The German government has said it is suspending use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus 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.

In a statement, the ministry said the European Medicines Agency would decide "whether and how the new information will affect the authorisation of the vaccine".

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The German government has said it is suspending use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine over new reports of dangerous blood clots

In its statement, the health ministry said the reported blood clots involved cerebral veins, but did not 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.

Karl Lauterbach, politician in the Social Democratic Party of Germany and professor of health economics and epidemiology at the University of Cologne tweeted: “Based on the data available, I consider this to be a mistake.

"Testing without suspension of vaccination would have been better because of the rarity of the complication.

"In the third wave, which is now picking up speed, the first vaccinations with the AstraZeneca vaccine would be lifesavers.”

The European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation have also said that available data do not suggest the vaccine caused the clots and that people should continue to be immunised.

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