Germany becomes latest European country to suspend use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine

A doctor in Germany administered the AstraZeneca vaccine on March 3, just days before the country stopped using the vaccine.


Action Press / Zuma Press

BERLIN: Germany said it will temporarily suspend the administration of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured by AstraZeneca AZN -0.42%

PLC, the latest in a string of mostly European countries that have stopped injecting vaccines amid a small number of reported blood clotting cases on the continent.

The German government said it stopped the AstraZeneca injections on the advice of its drug agency. The country’s health minister confirmed that there were seven cases in Germany out of the 1.6 million doses that had been administered.

Denmark said last week that it had stopped injections of AstraZeneca for two weeks following reports of blood clotting, and several other European countries quickly followed suit, saying they were doing so as a precaution. Norway, Ireland and the Netherlands are among the countries that have stopped vaccinating with the AstraZeneca injection.

More about the AstraZeneca vaccine

Health regulators in the UK and Europe, along with AstraZeneca and its vaccine development partners at the University of Oxford, say there is no known connection between severe clotting and injection. AstraZeneca has said that the number of cases of blood clotting among the approximately 17 million people in the European Union and the United Kingdom who have received the injection is lower than in the general population.

The European drug regulator said last week it was investigating around 30 reported cases of severe clotting, out of around 5 million people who have received the injection on the block. Last week, the regulator, the European Medicines Agency, said that “the benefits of the vaccine still outweigh the risks” and has continued to recommend its use. The agency said that most of the side effects are mild or moderate. Clinical trials did not pose any risk to blood clotting.

Write to Bojan Pancevski at bojan.[email protected] and Jenny Strasburg at [email protected]

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