Europe

Germany reviewing AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine after Berlin stops use for those under age 60

BERLIN (BLOOMBERG) – Germany is reassessing AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine after the capital Berlin suspended its use for people under the age of 60, citing new data on potentially dangerous side effects.

Dr Dilek Kalayci, the city’s top health official, said that Germany’s vaccination commission and the Paul Ehrlich Institute, which oversees vaccine use, will make new recommendations on how to proceed.

Regional health ministers will also discuss the AstraZeneca vaccine at a special meeting later on Tuesday (March 30), she added.

“We have to wait for the recommendations, but we wanted to take this step as a precaution,” Dr Kalayci said on Tuesday at a news conference.

“This vaccine does prevent severe symptoms, and that is very valuable, but we have to be careful with it nonetheless.”

Germany this month joined other European countries in resuming the use of the AstraZeneca shot after the European Union’s drug regulator confirmed its view that the vaccine is safe.

The European Medicines Agency concluded that its benefits outweigh the risks, following a safety review after reports of blood clots in some recipients.

While the EMA said the cases so far are “rare”, it recommended that a warning is added to make sure the public is better informed.

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