AstraZeneca vaccine 'still very safe' for Germany says expert
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Angela Merkel’s Government confirmed on Monday they would temporarily suspend the distribution of the AstraZeneca vaccine amid concerns of blood clotting among those jabbed. Director of Germany’s Intensive Care Registry Dr Christian Karagiannidis however dismissed the concerns and insisted the jab is “very safe”. He told BBC’s The Nine programme: “I’m still convinced that it (the AstraZeneca vaccine) is very safe”.
The move by Germany and a number of other EU countries comes despite the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) saying there is no indication of a link between the vaccine and reports of blood clots.
Dr Karagiannidis expressed regret at Germany’s decision to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca Vaccine.
The medic said: “If I would have been the German health minister I would have gone on and I wouldn’t have stopped it.
“I would have had a careful look at the cases but I would not have stopped it.”
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He added: “We lose so much confidence now with it.”
The German physician also assured viewers that he was “still convinced that it is very safe” despite Germany’s decision to suspend the vaccine.
His comments come as health experts and leaders across the world condemn the European Union’s decision to suspend the use of the AstraZeneca jab.
Earlier the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said “many thousands of people” develop blood clots every year in the EU.
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The EMA also highlighted “the number of thromboembolic events overall in vaccinated people seems not to be higher than that seen in the general population” while only 37 people have presented with blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The EMA’s safety committee is reviewing the data and working closely with the company, experts in blood disorders and authorities including the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The committee will hold an extraordinary meeting tomorrow to consider any further action that may be needed.
Suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine has sparked furious calls for resignations in the European Commission and comes as Angela Merkel’s CDU took a drubbing in state elections in Germany.
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UK leaders and medical experts have defended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Professor Jeremy Brown, a consultant in respiratory medicine and member of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said there was concern about vaccine hesitancy following the decision by some European countries to halt the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“There is the concern that what’s happening in Europe might make people in the UK less confident in the AstraZeneca vaccine – unnecessarily so – because it’s perfectly safe,” he told Good Morning Britain.
He said the vaccine had been given to 11 million people in the UK “and there’s been no serious side-effects in this country”.
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