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Germany restricts AstraZeneca vaccine use for children under 60

Germany will reserve the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over the age of 60 after several cases of blood clots, regional and federal health ministries said on Tuesday. Those under 60 who wish to do so may decide to receive the vaccine, but only after “consultation with a doctor practicing vaccination (…) and a personalized risk analysis”, indicated the ministers of the 16 German regions and the minister. federal government in a statement following a meeting.

For those under 60 who have already received a first dose with this vaccine, the ministers leave them the choice: either to be injected a second dose, or to wait for the recommendation of the vaccine commission (STIKO) scheduled for the end of April. Chancellor Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn are due to hold a press conference on the subject later.

Suspicions in several countries

STIKO had announced shortly before its decision to “recommend the AstraZeneca vaccine now only to over 60s”. This opinion is based on “the data currently available showing the rare appearance, but very serious of thrombosis as a side effect” affecting “mainly people under the age of 60 between 4 and 16 days after vaccination,” she said. .

This anti-Covid vaccine is the subject of suspicion in several countries after serious cases of blood clots. The Paul-Ehrlich Medical Institute, which advises the government on vaccines, is examining 31 reports of blood clots in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine in Germany, Spiegel magazine reported on Tuesday. Almost all cases involve young or middle-aged women. Several countries have suspended vaccination with this serum for these age groups, including Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and France. On Monday, Canada also announced a similar measure for those under 55, pending further analysis.

Following the recommendations of the European health authority EMA, Germany resumed the use of this vaccine in mid-March for all age groups. Germany, which has injected at least one dose of the vaccine to around 11% of its population, needs to step up its campaign to protect against the coronavirus as a third epidemic wave hits the country

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