Europe: Germany temporarily halted the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as a precaution, soon after which Italy, France, and Spain took a similar decision. At the same time, the WHO has declared the vaccine safe.
Germany on Monday stopped the use of AstraZeneca’s Corona vaccine. It has been announced by the German Ministry of Health in a statement, after which Italy, France and Spain have also announced to stop its use. Many other European Union countries have also stopped using the vaccine due to the possibility of blood clots.
The German Ministry of Health has described the move as a “precaution” based on the advice of the National Health Regulator, the Paul Erlich Institute (PEI). According to the Ministry of Health, the European Medicine Agency (EMA) will decide “how the new information will affect the approval of the vaccine,” for which an investigation is pending. According to the ministry, “PEI considers further investigation necessary following reports of blood clotting in the brain after vaccination in Germany and Europe.”
According to Germany’s Health Minister Yens Schöppen, this decision has been taken following the advice of PEI. He said, “The decision is professional, not political.” Schpan said that the risk of blood clots is lower with the AstraZeneca vaccine, but it cannot be ruled out. In the press conference, he said, “The most important thing for confidence is transparency.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has said that his country will also suspend the use of the vaccine. This suspension will continue until review by the EMA. However, he also said that the suspension might be brief. Meanwhile, the EMA has called a meeting on Thursday to review the experts’ findings on the AstraZeneca vaccine and decide whether action needs to be taken.
Apart from Germany, Italy, France and Spain, many countries in Europe and the world have banned the use of this vaccine. It was banned by Denmark last week, after which Ireland, Bulgaria, and Norway banned the vaccine as a precaution after concerns about blood clots arose.
The ban is not limited to Europe; Indonesia has also pushed the use of this vaccine for vaccination. At the same time, the World Health Organization says that despite the concern about blood clots in some people, the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine can be continued.