Germany has suspended the use of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, following growing concerns about safety.
The country’s health ministry announced the suspension on Monday, noting that the decision is “purely precautionary and professional”, and not based on a political decision.
Germany joined the list of other countries that have suspended the rollout of the vaccine, following a possible link to blood clots.
On Sunday, the list of countries that have suspended the rollout of the vaccine grew to 13 after the Netherlands and Ireland joined Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Thailand, Congo, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Romania and Latvia.
Germany noted that it followed the recommendation of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, a government agency responsible for vaccines, to take the precautionary measure.
The ministry also noted that experts in Germany and the European Union will be given time to review the latest incidents arising from the use of the vaccine.
Those who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine and feel increasingly unwell or punctiform skin bleeding which has lasted for more than four days after vaccination, have been advised to seek medical treatment immediately.
However, the UK medicines regulator has reaffirmed the safety of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, saying available evidence does not suggest it causes blood clots.
AstraZeneca also said, on Sunday, that a review of 17 million recipients of the vaccine showed no evidence of an increased risk of blood clots.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has continued to administer the vaccine — about four million doses were delivered through the UN-led COVAX facility on March 2.
According to the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the batch delivered to Nigeria has been certified safe for use.