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  • France, Germany and Italy have become the latest countries to suspend use of the Oxford AstraZeneca job over concerns about blood clots.

  • The moves come as the World Health Organization appealed to governments not to pause vaccination campaigns.

  • Germany's Health ministry said its suspension took effect immediately.

  • Earlier, the Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands made a similar decision despite the World Health Organization, saying there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and blood clots.

  • They followed Denmark, Bulgaria and Iceland, which brings the total number of European nations in total, to have paused their roll out of the vaccination to nine well.

  • Some European countries have stopped using certain batches of the drug as a precautionary measure.

  • The European Medicines Agency is currently carrying out a review into incidents of blood clots.

  • It says the vaccine's benefits continue to outweigh its risks.

  • About 17 million people in the European Union and the U.

  • K have received a dose of the vaccine, with fewer than 40 cases of blood clots reported.

  • That's lower than would be found in a normal population sample.

  • Well, I'm joined now by Jenny Hill in Berlin journey The list of countries in the EU, who are clearly concerned, is growing.

  • Yes, Germany made this surprise announcement just over an hour ago.

  • France and Italy have followed suit, saying there temporarily suspending the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine until the European Medicines Agency gives a statement gives some advice which is expected tomorrow afternoon and here in Germany, I can tell you that the decision was announced on the basis of a recommendation from the Paul Ehrlich Institute.

  • This is the body which advises the government here on vaccines and vaccination, and it's published the statement actually upon which this decision has been based.

  • And it says that there have been new cases in recent days of people who have developed what they describe as a special type of a rare blood clot in the brain following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and that's why they want to investigate further now.

  • They didn't say how many people have been affected or indeed how badly, but actually just as we came to where I noticed that the national broadcaster here, usually very reliable, is quoting the country's health minister and he's talking about out of 1.6 million doses that have been given That's 1.6 million people.

  • Of course, these are first doses.

  • Just seven people seem to have been affected.

  • So, um, that's not what's coming straight from the horse's mouth, if you like from the institute that advises the government.

  • But if this report is correct, the numbers are indeed very low and that perhaps chimes with other national governments who are saying, Look, there's really no need to suspend, um, the vaccinations at this stage, a very controversial decision, and I think one which is going to cause, well, it is already causing.

  • We can see it here.

  • I'm anger and a lot of concern in Germany because the vaccination program here has been very slow to get going.

  • Just over 7% of the population have received a first dose.

  • Case numbers are rising, new variants is spreading.

  • There's a lot of concern about how this country is going to get anywhere near back to normality, let alone do something about the hundreds of people who are still dying from Covid every day.

  • So to take a vaccine that's an important vaccine here out of circulation, you know, isn't a decision that's going to have been made lightly by the government, the health minister saying It's not a political decision, it's a decision based on facts.

  • But it is, he added, purely precautionary.

  • We've heard from France.

  • It's reported that the suspension there will be pending the European watchdog decision at midday on Tuesday.

  • I mean, it looks as though there is obviously some coordinated concern.

  • Perhaps not.

  • I think there will be a lot of people who suspect a political motive.

  • Perhaps behind these decisions, Um, there were, of course, big problems between EU countries and AstraZeneca when it came to initially delivery of doses AstraZeneca not not able to fulfill um, doses.

  • I think that's probably a little bit conspiracy theory because of course these governments are dealing with high and rising case numbers.

  • Now many of these countries and so, as I said to take a vaccine out of circulation is a very serious decision and of course the knock on effects could also be really very significant.

  • AstraZeneca has had a bit of an image problem here in Germany.

  • That's largely because you perhaps remember at first Germany, along with a number of other European countries, decided that whilst the European Medicines Agency said it should be given to every age group.

  • Germany decided that it wouldn't initially license it for for use in the over 60 fives because they said they wanted to see more data about its efficacy in those age groups.

  • It was a controversial decision at the time, and many here would say it did actually cost the country dear, because there has been a slightly slower take up of that vaccine, partially because we're hearing reports of medics, in particular medical staff who say they don't want to take the Astros because they're concerned about its efficacy as a result of that initial decision.

  • This, of course, will do nothing to reassure the population even if the suspension is removed again, perhaps as quickly as tomorrow, pending that decision by the European Medicines Agency, Jenny Hill.

  • Thanks very much indeed for that.

  • Well, I'm joined now by our health correspondent Nick Trickle.

  • People are going to want to know what data is this based on?

  • Because so many European governments showing this level of concern must be an indication of some serious worry.

  • Well, the data that has been provided by AstraZeneca shows that there has been 37 cases of blood clots.

  • Now that's out of more than 17 million people who have been vaccinated with the jab, and that level is below what you'd expect in a population.

  • So when a vaccine is rolled out like this, the regulatory agencies in health authorities across the world look at what's happening.

  • What level of adverse events are being seen after vaccination to see if it's just coincidence?

  • If these would naturally occur anyway, or if it's caused by the vaccine, and those levels of blood clots being seen are below what you'd actually expect.

  • So it has surprised a number of vaccination experts in the U.

  • K.

  • And they have questioned why, when the World Health Organization has said it's safe to use, the European and UK regulatory agencies are not saying it should be suspended at all.

  • Why individual nations are doing this.

  • It is causing questions, Um, in terms of the toughness of regulation as I understand it, the U.

  • K is very stringent, isn't it?

  • Yes.

  • I mean, they've been monitoring the AstraZeneca vaccine and all the other ones all the way through the clinical trials and then, as it's been rolled out in the real world.

  • I mean, in the UK the AstraZeneca vaccine has been given to more than 10 million people, and it's that that evidence for that shows it's reducing.

  • Serious illness from covid is reducing the numbers of people who are dying.

  • It's important to remember covid actually increases the risk of blood clots greatly.

  • So even if there is a small risk a rare, uh, side effect that does cause blood clots.

  • One thing to consider is that actually covid has a higher risk of blood clots anyway, So you've got to see the bigger picture with these, and this is what I think a lot of vaccination experts are saying today.

  • But obviously we'll have to wait to see what the European drugs regulator says tomorrow.

  • We're just hearing a line here that the Covid 19 vaccine trial data on AstraZeneca is now under review by an independent review board.

  • According to the church NIH director in the U.

  • S.

  • We've heard mention also about some unusual type of blood clot affecting the brain.

  • Do you know what mechanism there could be to link this vaccine to blood clots?

  • Well, we've been speaking to a few people today about?

  • Well, what could be the biological cause of this?

  • Is there a plausible explanation?

  • Explanation?

  • There isn't in the general population, they say.

  • But you you do not know until you roll out a vaccine to large numbers of people.

  • What kind of rare events might happen?

  • So when they when they do the trials, the AstraZeneca vaccine was tested on around 30,000 people across the globe.

  • You're not going to pick up on those very, very rare occurrences.

  • So it's certainly possible this could be happening and there could be a cause here, but as yet, no one is suggesting they have definitely proved that it could just be a coincidence.

  • Okay, Thank you very much indeed.

  • Nick Nick, health correspondent.

France, Germany and Italy have become the latest countries to suspend use of the Oxford AstraZeneca job over concerns about blood clots.

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France, Germany and Italy suspend AstraZeneca vaccine - BBC News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/03/15
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