Why Germany has halted the use of the Oxford vaccine among people under 60

Wednesday, 31st March 2021, 11:45 am
Germany has halted the use of the Oxford vaccine among people under 60, despite expert advice  (Photo by LENNART PREISS/AFP via Getty Images)
Germany has halted the use of the Oxford vaccine among people under 60, despite expert advice (Photo by LENNART PREISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Germany has decided to only distribute the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine to people aged 60 and over unless they are health workers or at high risk from Covid.

The UK government maintains that the vaccine is safe, while the European Medicines agency has recommended countries continuing using it without restriction.

The measure was recommended by the country’s vaccine panel, following the release of new data showing 31 unusual blood clots related to nine deaths have been reported up until this week.

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Among those 31, 29 of the cases were in women aged 20 to 63, while the other two were men aged 36 and 57.

Are countries still using the jab?

Germany has administered around 2.7 million doses of the Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine, while millions more have received the jab worldwide.

Despite this, a number of other countries have paused their use of the vaccine in younger people until more evidence can be gathered.

The countries which have paused their use of the vaccine include Sweden, France and Canada.

Many European countries are continuing to use the vaccine among all age groups, including Greece, Belgium, Portugal and Italy.

The EU medicines regulator, MHRA, has insisted that the vaccine is safe and effective, as has the World Health Organisation.

What has the UK government said?

The UK government has insisted that the vaccine is safe and should continue to be used for people of all ages.

Speaking to Sky News, housing secretary Robert Jenrick said the vaccine is safe and is “saving people’s lives right across the country every day”.

He said: “Recent research, for example by Public Health England, has shown that thousands of people’s lives have been saved since the start of this year alone thanks to our vaccine programme.”

“People should continue to go forward and get the vaccine”.

He added: “I certainly will when my time comes.