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30th Mar 2021

Germany regulator advises against AstraZeneca jab for under-60s over clot risk

Simon Lloyd

Any final decisions on who can and cannot have the vaccine will rest with Germany’s government

Germany’s vaccine authority has warned against giving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to people under the age of 60 because of a risk of blood clots.

After the discovery of 31 incidents of a rare type of blood clot in the brain amongst the 2.7 million people who have received the jab in the country, Germany’s medicine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute, advised against its use in those younger than 60 – potentially presenting the country with fresh delays to its vaccine rollout.

Any final decision on who can and cannot have the vaccine rests with Germany’s government, but a temporary ban seems likely given the precautionary response of other European nations to similar clotting concerns earlier in the month.

The development comes days after the European Medicines Agency, the EU’s regulator, dismissed suggestions the jab increased the risk of blood clots.

“AstraZeneca continues to analyse its database on tens of millions of records for Covid-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca to understand whether these very rare cases of blood clots associated with thrombocytopenia occur any more commonly than would be expected naturally in a population of millions of people,” a spokesperson for AstraZeneca is quoted as saying.

“We will continue to work with German authorities to address any questions they may have.”

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock also insisted the jab was safe two weeks ago after the likes of the Republic of Ireland decided to temporarily suspend its use.