Home / Health / Denmark completely stops using AstraZeneca vaccine; Germany decides against AstraZeneca for second jab for under-60s

Denmark completely stops using AstraZeneca vaccine; Germany decides against AstraZeneca for second jab for under-60s

Copenhagen, Berlin, April 14, 2021

Denmark is completely halting the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, Danish Health Administration head, Soren Brostrom, said.

This is as German federal and state health ministers have decided decided that people under 60 in Germany who were given the AstraZeneca vaccine as their first dose will switch to a different vaccine for the second dose.

Brostrom said at a press conference in Copenhagen on Wednesday that the vaccination campaign will continue without the shot from the British-Swedish company.

Denmark had temporarily suspended vaccinations with the AstraZeneca shot on March 11.

This is as a precautionary measure and the country has not resumed them since then, even to a limited extent as other countries have done.

The reason for the halt were isolated severe cases of blood clots and suspected deaths in people who had previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the AstraZeneca shot.

Bavarian lawmaker, Klaus Holetschek, who chaired the Tuesday evening meeting of German federal and state health ministers, told dpa that “the solution that has now been found offers good protection for people.”

The second jab would be with either the Pfizer/BionTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine, which were a good alternative especially in the third wave of the pandemic, Holetschek said.

The decision follows a recommendation by Germany’s top vaccine authority, Stiko, at the beginning of the month.

Stiko head, Thomas Mertens, also joined the ministers’ session.

Only in individual cases and after an individual risk analysis with a doctor could AstraZeneca also be used for the second vaccination.

The decision comes after a few cases arose of cerebral vein thrombosis after vaccination with AstraZeneca that had led to a complete halt or in some cases just a pause, in the use of AstraZeneca in some countries for some age groups.

Experts suspected that the very low risk of thrombosis mainly affects younger people.
AstraZeneca is being used in Germany only for people over 60, who are at a higher risk of dying due to COVID-19.
Official figures suggest about 2.2 million Germans under 60 have already received a first vaccination with AstraZeneca.

On Tuesday, the use of Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine was paused in the U.S. and its roll-out in Europe and in South Africa was delayed as health authorities investigate a potential link to rare blood clots.

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