Health authorities in Germany agree on switching to different vaccine after initial AstraZeneca jab to people under 60

Berlin, April 14 2021:  Health authorities in Germany have agreed that people in the younger age group who received a first AstraZeneca dose before the vaccine’s use was officially discontinued on March 30 will be offered either the BioNTech-Pfizer jab for their second dose, or the Moderna vaccine.

Federal and regional health ministers have agreed that people under 60 will no longer receive a second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine over fears it may be causing blood clots

Talking to a local news agency, Bavarian health minister, Klaus Holetschek said, “The solution that has been found will offer a good level of protection.”

Last week, Germany’s vaccine commission recommended the second dose be delivered 12 weeks after the first AstraZeneca shot. Germany like many other countries restricted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after rare blood clots were detected in a small number of younger people who had received the jab.

According to the European Medicines Agency, the blood clots were a rare side effect, there being 222 cases of these atypical thromboses out of 34 million AstraZeneca injections carried out in the European Economic Area and Britain, as of April 4, resulting in 18 deaths, as of March 22.

Women under 60 within 2 weeks of vaccination make the most of the affected group. According to Germany’s health ministry some 2.2 million people aged under 60 have received an AstraZeneca dose in recent weeks. Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot vaccine has come under similar suspicion for the same issue, with US health authorities recommending that it be paused while they investigate six cases of clotting.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization maintains that due to a lack of sufficient data to support the decision, it cannot recommend switching vaccine between two doses as a protection against Covid-19.

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