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Renewed concerns surface about AstraZeneca vaccine

A health worker administers an AstraZeneca vaccine in Zwickau, Germany, on Tuesday. Associated Press/Photo by Hendrik Schmidt/dpa

Renewed concerns surface about AstraZeneca vaccine

New reports of unusual blood clots in people who got shots from the Anglo-Swedish company prompted Germany and Canada to impose new limitations. All but two of the 31 reported cases of blood clots were women between 20 and 63, and nine people died. German health officials announced on Tuesday that only people ages 60 and over can get AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine in Berlin, Munich, and Brandenburg. Canada is limiting distribution to those 55 and older.

Didn’t they already deal with this? Earlier in March, several European countries stopped administering AstraZeneca’s shots due to reported blood clots, but most resumed use after the European Medicines Agency found the benefits outweighed the risk. But new data suggests the risk of blood clots could be 1 in 100,000 instead of 1 in 1 million. The AstraZeneca vaccine is authorized in more than 70 countries so far and is key to the United Nation’s COVAX campaign to vaccinate poor countries.

Dig Deeper: Read Mindy Belz’s report on the COVAX effort.

Charissa Koh

Charissa is a WORLD reporter who often writes about poverty-fighting and criminal justice. She resides with her family in Atlanta.


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