Germany will only use AstraZeneca’s coronavine vaccine in people over 60 years of age.
It informs the government.
“However, people under the age of 60 can still decide to get the vaccine, but only after ‘consultation with the doctor performing the vaccination … and on the basis of an individual risk analysis,'” said ministers from both Chancellor Angela Merkel’s federal government and from the governments of the 16 states.
The WHO and the European Medicines Agency have both declared the AstraZeneca vaccine safe.
Merkel has highlighted that experts in recent weeks have found ‘very rare but severe cases of blood clots’ in people who have been vaccinated with AstraZeneca.
“This cannot be ignored,” said Merkel, who stressed that information and transparency about the vaccine could ensure continued trust in the public.
“Trust comes from the knowledge that every suspicion, every individual case will be investigated,” the chancellor said.
Earlier this week, the cities of Berlin, Munich and the state of Brandenburg announced that they do not use AstraZeneca’s vaccine on younger people.
The Charité University Clinic in Berlin has tentatively discontinued the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for all women under 55 years of age. The same goes for the city – state hospital company, Vivantes.
“In our view, it is necessary because further cases of blood clots in the brain have become known,” said Manuela Zingl, a spokeswoman for the Charité hospital.
Awaiting further assessments
Manuela Zingl emphasizes that there have been no cases of complications at the Charité. However, one will act preventively and await further assessments.
So far, Charité has given around 16,000 vaccines to its own employees. The majority were with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Throughout Germany, authorities are aware of 31 cases of blood clots in the brain following vaccination with AstraZeneca, according to the Paul Ehrlich Institute, Germany’s national center for vaccines and biomedicine.
In 19 cases, thrombocytopenia has also been reported with low platelet counts. This causes an increased tendency for bleeding.
Nine have died after being vaccinated.
With the exception of two exceptions, all affected women are between 20 and 63 years old. Two men, aged 36 and 57, have also had blood clots.