Germany, France, Italy and Spain pause Oxford jab amid blood clot concerns

World

Germany is suspending use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in order to investigate reports of blood clots.

The country’s Health Ministry said the measure was a “precaution”.

Germany is the latest European country to suspend use of the coronavirus vaccine amid concerns over possible links to the clots.

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Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford vaccine group who developed the AstraZeneca jab, has said there is “very reassuring evidence that there is no increase in a blood clot phenomenon here in the UK, where most of the doses in Europe have been given so far”.

AstraZeneca has said there is no cause for concern.

Both the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the UN agency World Health Organisation have said available data does not suggest the vaccine caused the clots and that people should continue to be immunised.

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In a statement, the German health ministry said the reported blood clots involved cerebral veins, but did not specify where or when the incidents happened.

It said its decision to suspend the vaccine was taken on the advice of national regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute.

The ministry said the EMA would decide “whether and how the new information will affect the authorisation of the vaccine”.

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