Berlin suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine for children under 60 | News on the coronavirus pandemic

German state stops use of COVID vaccine amid resurgent fears of blood clots as a rare side effect.

The German state of Berlin is once again suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for people under the age of 60 due to reports of blood clots.

Berlin’s top health official Dilek Kalayci said on Tuesday the decision was taken as a precaution before a meeting of representatives from Germany’s 16 states after the country’s medical regulator reported 31 cases of rare blood clots in people who had recently received the vaccine. . Among them, nine people died.

All but two cases involved women aged 20 to 63, according to the Paul Ehrlich Institute, the German medical regulator.

Earlier on Tuesday, two public hospitals in Berlin announced that they had stopped giving AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to women under the age of 55.

Officials at five university hospitals in western Germany have called for a temporary stop of the vaccine for all younger women, citing the potential risk of blood clots.

Authorities in Munich also suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under the age of 60 on Tuesday, German news agency DPA reported.

“Due to current developments, the city has decided, like Berlin, to suspend vaccinations with AstraZeneca for people under the age of 60 as a precautionary measure until the question of possible complications for this group of people is clarified. “the DPA said, quoting a spokesperson for the city. .

So far, around 2.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered in Germany. Since the vaccine in Germany was initially limited to people under the age of 65, the vaccine was given to younger people, especially medical staff and teachers.

European suspensions

Many European countries briefly stopped using the Anglo-Swedish company vaccine earlier this month while investigating rare cases of blood clots in some recipients.

After a review triggered by the suspensions, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine outweighed its risks, but patients and doctors should be made aware of the rare side effects.

The World Health Organization also said the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.

Most countries in the European Union have since resumed its use.

But on March 19, France broke with EMA guidelines and said the vaccine should only be given to people aged 55 or older. France said the decision was based on evidence that coagulation affected younger people.

Canadian health officials said Monday they will stop offering AstraZeneca’s vaccine to people under the age of 55 and are calling for a re-analysis of the benefits and risks of the shot, based on age and condition. sex.

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