AstraZeneca: Germany’s halt of rollout discussed by expert
The Federal Ministry of Health has revealed there are now 13 cases of blood clots in cerebral veins related to the vaccine – which was developed with Oxford University. Several EU states have halted use of the jab amid fears over blood clots.
In total there are 12 women and one man between 20 and 63 years old who have recorded blood clots.
Three people in Germany have died according to local reports.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is expected to give an update on to how to proceed today.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been halted in several EU member states such as Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Germany.
13 cases of blood-clotting now reported in Germany
Germany stopped administering the vaccine earlier this week with immediate effect.
Health Minister Jens Spahn said: “The background to this decision follows new reports of cases of cerebral vein thrombosis connected with an AstraZeneca vaccination.
“In light of these newly reported cases, the Paul Ehrlich Institute today reevaluated the situation and recommended a suspension of vaccinations and further analysis.”
He reassured the decision was “not political” and said they did not take the decision lightly.
Despite the increased number of blood clots reported, the World Health Organisation has urged EU nations to continue to use the vaccine.
The WHO’s European director, Hans Kluge, said: “As of now, we do not know whether some or all of the conditions have been caused by the vaccine or by other coincidental factors.
“At this point in time, however, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine far outweigh its risks and its use should continue, to save lives.”
While the increased number of recorded blood clots has sparked concern across the bloc, the figure is relatively small in comparison to the 17million people who have had the vaccine.
French President Emmanuel Macron halted use of the vaccine following advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Spain have also suspended the jab for at least two weeks, according to Spanish Health Minister Carolina Darias.
However other EU countries such as Belgium, Poland and the Czech Republic said they would continue using the vaccine.
Belgium’s Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke said due to the high number of cases, the country could not afford to stop the vaccine rollout.
He said: “For us, the balance is clear and clear, it’s a race against time.”
This comes after experts have warned several EU member states are at the start of a third wave of the pandemic.
German has reported the biggest rise of cases in two months.
Figures from the Robert Koch Institute reported the number of confirmed cases jumped by 17,504 to 2,612,268, marking the biggest daily rise since January 22.
Allegations of the AstraZeneca vaccine causing blood clots have been slammed by health experts in the UK.
Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chairman of the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said: “We have to remember that there are 3,000 blood clots a month on average in the general population and because we’re immunising so many people, we are bound to see blood clots at the same time as the vaccination, and that’s not because they are due to the vaccination.
“One ought to also remember that Covid causes blood clots.
“So, the risks of not having the Covid vaccination far outweigh the risks from the vaccinations.”
More to follow…
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg