Germany Resumes Use of Astra Vaccine After EU Regulator Backs it


March 18, 2021


Visitors wait to receive a dose of the Moderna Inc. Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Luckenwalde, Germany, on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. Chancellor Angela Merkel promised all Germans a first shot of Covid-19 vaccine by the end of September, as long as drugmakers stick to their delivery commitments. Photographer: Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz/Bloomberg


By Tim Loh | Bloomberg News


Germany joined other European countries in resuming the use of AstraZeneca Plc’s Covid-19 vaccine after the bloc’s drug regulator confirmed its view that the shot is safe.

The government and regional states aim to restart the vaccinations on Friday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said. “The decision by EMA confirms the safety and reliability of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said Thursday evening at a news conference in Berlin.

The European Medicines Agency earlier on Thursday said the Astra shot’s benefits outweigh the risks, following a safety review of the vaccine after reports of blood clots in some recipients. While the EMA said the cases so far are “rare,” it’s recommending that a warning is added to make sure the public is better informed.

Europe’s biggest countries, including Germany, France and Italy, suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine this week amid a growing health scare that created another delay for the EU’s inoculation campaign. France and Italy said Thursday evening that they will restart administering Astra’s shots on Friday.

There have been 13 cases of cerebral vein thrombosis in Germany following administration of the Astra shot, including three deaths, DPA reported on Thursday citing the health ministry. They affected 12 women and one man between the ages of 20 and 63 years, the newswire wrote.

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