Germany, France and Italy Suspend Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine | News on the coronavirus pandemic
A wave of suspensions follows reports that some people have developed blood clots after receiving the vaccine.
Germany, France and Italy have suspended use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after several reports of blood clots in people who received the vaccine.
The wave of suspensions on Monday came after a number of other countries, mainly in Europe, halted deployments late last week.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has supported the use of the vaccine and said it had not seen any evidence that the vaccine caused clotting in some people who received it. He is reviewing reports relating to the shooting and urged countries not to suspend vaccinations.
Germany was the first to signal that it would follow suit on Monday, with the country’s Health Minister Jens Spahn saying its decision was taken on the advice of the national vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute .
The institute had called for a further investigation into seven reported cases of clots in the brains of people who received the vaccination.
“Today’s decision is a purely precautionary measure,” Spahn said.
France and Italy announced similar measures shortly after.
French President Emmanuel Macron has said the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be suspended as a precautionary measure until at least Tuesday afternoon, when the European Union’s medicines regulator – the European Medicines Agency (EMA) – will issue its recommendation on the vaccine.
Macron did not elaborate on the reasoning behind the decision, but told a press conference that he hoped France would be able to vaccinate again with AstraZeneca injections “soon”.
Italy’s medicines authority, AIFA, meanwhile said it was implementing its own suspension as a “precautionary and temporary measure” pending EMA decisions.
The announcement followed the seizure of hundreds of thousands of doses of the vaccine by Italian prosecutors in the northern Piedmont region, where a teacher died following his vaccination.
Experts are investigating whether there is a link between his death and the vaccination.
AstraZeneca said there was no need to be concerned about its vaccine, which is produced in conjunction with the University of Oxford in the UK, and that there were fewer reported cases of thrombosis in those who received the vaccine than in the general population.
The EMA and WHO also said the available data did not suggest the vaccine caused the clots and that people should continue to be vaccinated with the vaccine.
The WHO on Monday called on countries not to suspend vaccinations against a disease that has caused more than 2.7 million deaths worldwide.
“To date, there is no evidence that the incidents are caused by the vaccine and it is important that vaccination campaigns continue so that we can save lives and stem serious illnesses from the virus,” the spokesperson said. from WHO, Christian Lindmeier.
However, assurances appear to have done little to calm doubts, with several countries now temporarily halting use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days..
Denmark, Norway, Ireland, the Netherlands, Iceland and Bulgaria were among those who suspended the use of the projectile.