Germany has decided to halt the use of AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 60 following reports of a rare brain blood disorder. Moreover, the country will also limit usage among high-priority groups.
On Tuesday, Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany said that the country will halt the use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine as it is causing rare but 'occasionally fatal' blood clots.
Merkel said that the government 'cannot ignore' the recommendations of the country’s vaccine committee and new data which claims that blood clots are developing after taking the vaccine.
The Paul Ehrlich Institute, which is Germany’s medical regulator, said earlier that it had recorded 31 cases of cerebral venous thrombosis, a rare brain clot that can result in hemorrhaging, among 2.7 million people in the country that have received the AstraZeneca vaccine.
"We have to be able trust the vaccines," Chancellor Angela Merkel said during a press conference on Tuesday. "And transparency is the best way to deal with such a situation," she added.
On March 22, AstraZeneca claimed that its COVID-19 vaccine is 80 per cent effective against the virus among the elderly, and poses no blood clot risks. The numbers suggested that the vaccine was effective at preventing symptomatic coronavirus in 79 percent people. In terms of preventing severe cases, the vaccine showed 100 percent efficacy.
The company claimed that the US phase III trials of the vaccines had 32,449 participants, out of whom two thirds received the jab. Out of whom 20 percent were aged 65 and above, while 60 per cent had health conditions that pose a high risk of severe case of COVID-19.
However, after reports of rare blood clots made the news, people’s confidence in the vaccine has dipped immensely in various countries all across Europe.