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Germany Suspends Use Of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine To Investigate Blood Clot Reports

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Germany Suspends Use Of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine To Investigate Blood Clot Reports

Germany has suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the Press Association reports.

It follows advice from the country's national regulator to investigate reports of blood clots.

The Netherlands had also just announced it has suspended use of the vaccine over concerns about possible side effects.

The Dutch government has said it is acting out of precaution, following reports from Denmark and Norway of potentially serious side effects.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to Reuters, Dutch drug watchdog Pharmacovigilance Centre Lareb said 10 cases of possible adverse side effects have been reported in the Netherlands.

Health Minister Hugo de Jonge said: "We can't allow any doubts about the vaccine.

"We have to make sure everything is right, so it is wise to pause for now."

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AstraZeneca has said there was no evidence of an increased risk of clotting due to the vaccine, and that across the EU and the UK there have been a total of 15 events of deep-vein thrombosis (a blood clot in a vein) and pulmonary embolism (blood clots entering the lungs) reported among people vaccinated.

The pharmaceutical company said the figures were 'much lower than would be expected to occur naturally in a general population of this size and is similar across other licensed Covid-19 vaccines'.

Ann Taylor, Chief Medical Officer, added: "The nature of the pandemic has led to increased attention in individual cases and we are going beyond the standard practices for safety monitoring of licensed medicines in reporting vaccine events, to ensure public safety."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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After the Netherlands halted the campaign, Professor Andrew Pollard, Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group - which developed the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab - told the BBC's Today programme there was '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'.

Pollard said Finland has conducted a 'very careful study' and not found any increase risk, adding that it was 'absolutely critical that we don't have a problem of not vaccinating people'.

So far, eight countries have fully suspended the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccinations.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have said there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and reports of blood clots, telling Reuters it is important that vaccination campaigns continue.

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"It is normal for countries to signal potential adverse events. This does not mean that the events are linked to vaccination but its good practice to investigate them," the agency said.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: UK News

Jess Hardiman
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