Vaccine commission in Germany says people under 60 shouldn’t receive AstraZeneca second dose

A German vaccine commission is recommending that people under 60 who have already received their first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine should get the mRNA based Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as their second shot 12 weeks after their first vaccine.

The recommendation comes after Germany suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine for those under the age of 60 over concerns of a rare occurrence of blood clots found in a small number of people that received the vaccine.

British regulators said they have identified 30 cases of rare blood clot events after the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. They have received no such reports with the vaccines produced by Pfizer or Moderna. UK regulator found total of 30 cases of blood clot events after AstraZeneca vaccine use | Reuters

A handful of countries have paused or suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine amid reports of blood clots in a small percentage of patients. 

AstraZeneca uses the viral vector method of creating their vaccine described as vaccine that uses an organism (typically virus or bacterium) that does not cause disease to transport the pathogen genes into the body in order to stimulate an immune response. Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines work by inserting synthetic mRNA that instructs cells to make a pathogen’s proteins or protein bits, spurring the immune system into action. 

Health officials said they still believe the benefits of the vaccine in the prevention of COVID-19 far outweigh any possible risk of blood clots.

On March 18, the UK medicines regulator said that there had been five cases of a rare brain blood clot among 11 million administered shots.

On Thursday, it put the count at 22 reports of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, an extremely rare brain clotting ailment, and 8 reports of other clotting events associated with low blood platelets out of a total of 18.1 million doses given. Reuters