Updates: 30.03.2021 22:11
Released: 30.03.2021, 21:46
Berlin – Germany will follow the vaccination commission’s recommendation not to use the covid-19 vaccine from the British-Swedish consortium AstraZeneca for people under 60. After talks with Health Minister Jens Spahn and the Länder, Chancellor Angela Merkel said this evening, according to which the conclusions of the vaccination commission cannot be ignored. The measure is not a ban, people under the age of 60 can be vaccinated with this preparation after consulting a doctor, Spahn said. In the meantime, Berlin, Brandenburg and North Rhine-Westphalia have suspended immunization with the product due to several cases of cerebral venous thrombosis. However, the link with vaccination has not yet been proven.
“We all know that vaccination is our main tool in the fight against coronavirus. We all know that vaccination is based on the basic principle of trust,” Merkel explained why the government decided to follow the recommendations of the Stiko Vaccination Commission after negotiations with the Länder. .
The commission, which operates at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the German Office for Disease Prevention and Control, today recommended using AstraZenka only in people over 60 years of age. Use for use below this age limit is considered possible “after assessment by a physician, individual risk acceptance and thorough explanation”. Merkel quoted this conclusion at an evening press conference.
Stiko also said in a statement that she wanted to make detailed recommendations by the end of April for people under 60 who had already received the first dose of the vaccine and should now receive the second. Spahn noted that people under the age of 60 can decide for themselves, after consulting a doctor, whether they want AstraZenek or whether to reject it.
The Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which acts as a drug regulator in Germany, records 31 cases of cerebral venous thrombosis among 2.7 million people vaccinated with the company’s vaccine. Several doctors point out a possible connection, including Leif Erik Sander from the prestigious Charité Clinic in Berlin. “It is a rare but very serious complication,” he said.
Virologist Klaus Überla, who is a member of Stiko, considers today’s decision of the commission to be correct. “The data show a link between vaccination of women under the age of 55 and the incidence of cerebral venous thrombosis in these women,” Überla explained.
Germany temporarily suspended AstraZenka immunization in mid-March due to suspected cases of cerebral venous thrombosis, but resumed vaccination after a few days following a positive conclusion from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which examined the side effects of the medicine. Several other European countries did the same.