Germany suspends AstraZeneca vaccine amid clotting concerns
The German government said Monday that it’s suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s 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 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 Center 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.