After provisional vaccination bans for over-55-year-olds in the Charité and Vivantes clinics in Berlin, the entire state declared that vaccinations with the corona vaccine would be suspended. There is also such a stop for Canada.
The state of Berlin is suspending corona vaccinations with the active ingredient from the manufacturer AstraZeneca for people under 60 years of age. The Berlin health senator, Dilek Kalayci (SPD), announced on Tuesday and referred to new data on side effects. She spoke of a “precautionary measure”. Corresponding appointments in vaccination centers would be canceled for the time being. The German capital region with around 3.7 million inhabitants now wants to wait for the deliberations at the federal level and statements from experts – for example from the Paul Ehrlich Institute.
The state took the step after the state’s own clinics Charité and Vivantes stopped vaccinating female employees over the age of 55 with the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Charité spokeswoman, Manuela Zingl, said: “From the Charité’s point of view, this step is necessary, since further cerebral vein thromboses in women in Germany have become known in the meantime.”
North Rhine-Westphalia: Risk of further deaths “too high”
Zingl had emphasized that there were no complications at the Charité after vaccinations with AstraZeneca. However, the university clinic wants to act as a precaution and wait for final evaluations. So far, the Charité has administered around 16,000 first and second vaccinations to its staff during the pandemic. “AstraZeneca accounted for the largest part of this,” said Zingl.
Such a stop could also occur in other federal states. In North Rhine-Westphalia, according to a report by “Zeit”, the heads of five of the six university clinics have already come out in favor of temporarily stopping vaccinations of younger women with the active ingredient from AstraZeneca. The risk of further deaths is too high, according to a joint letter to the federal and state health ministers.
Stop in Canada
Due to possible side effects, the AstraZeneca vaccine recently underwent a review by the European Medicines Agency EMA, which recommended the continued use of the vector vaccine. In Canada, however, experts spoke out on Monday in favor of suspending vaccinations for people under 55 with AstraZeneca: Canada’s panel of experts for the corona vaccination campaign has safety concerns, reported the public TV broadcaster CBC. The guidelines for handling the vaccine have been changed accordingly. Again, there had been reports of rare blood clots in some immunized patients. According to the CBC, the drug has not yet been widely used in the under 55 age group.
In mid-March, corona vaccinations with the AstraZeneca preparation had been suspended for several days as a precaution in Germany and other European countries, but not in Austria. After a re-examination, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) declared that the preparation was safe. But an extra warning of possible rare cases of blood clots in cerebral veins is added to the notes, the EMA said. AstraZeneca plays an important role in the EU vaccination strategy. Because the preparation does not have to be cooled so much, it can also be injected by general practitioners.