Berlin (dpa) – After the suspension of corona vaccinations with the preparation of Astrazeneca, the federal / state meeting originally planned for Wednesday evening on the further vaccination strategy is being postponed. A spokesman for the government announced this on Tuesday.
The conference call is being postponed pending a decision by the European Medicines Agency on the Astrazeneca vaccine.
The conference call between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the prime ministers of the federal states should also address how general practitioners can be involved in vaccination procedures across the board. In particular, the practices should use the Astrazeneca vaccine, as it can also be stored there because it does not need to be refrigerated as much as the Biontech and Moderna vaccines.
But Monday afternoon, the Federal Ministry of Health surprisingly announced that Germany is also temporarily suspending vaccinations with the Astrazeneca vaccine. This was preceded by reports of blood clots associated with corona vaccination in the preparation. According to the information, this is a precautionary measure, which was preceded by a corresponding recommendation from the responsible Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI).
Of the seven cases of thrombosis (blood clots) of the cerebral veins that occurred in Germany in connection with the vaccination, three were fatal, as president of the institute Klaus Cichutek said in the ARD “Tagesthemen”. To date, the Astrazeneca preparation has been vaccinated more than 1.6 million times in Germany. “We have a new situation because of new studies, but also new reports,” said Cichutek. As for the UK, where such cases were not yet known to that extent, he said that it had not been specifically addressed. “I think citizens want to be sure that the vaccines we offer are safe and effective.” Regarding the effects on the German vaccination campaign, he said, “If it takes a little longer, that’s okay.”
Others, such as SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach, are critical of the decision. The pandemic officer of the Klinikum right der Isar of the Technical University of Munich, Christoph Spinner, told the German news agency that safety is the top priority, but the exposure can be questioned in any case. “The events are very rare,” he said, referring to the number of incidents. And: “We are currently vaccinating people with previous illnesses as a priority.” Some of these patients would be at increased risk of thromboembolism from the outset.
The Green health expert Janosch Dahmen even called the temporary stop negligent. The Bundestag member sees it as “the next shock wave” for confidence in the federal government’s corona policy, he told the DPA. “An alternative would be to provide detailed information on the manageable risk and to continue to vaccinate those people who would like to be vaccinated with Astrazeneca.”
The president of the World Medical Association, Frank Ulrich Montgomery, thinks the preparation is safe. “Nevertheless, it is correct that the national authorities check the suspected cases for serious side effects,” he told the editorial network Germany. If there are incidents in a country like Denmark, he can understand that you check before proceeding with vaccination.
Denmark was the first country to stop vaccinations against Astrazeneca after a vaccination-related death. Other countries followed suit. After Germany, Spain also announced a stop on Monday evening.
The Central Institute for Statutory Health Insurance (ZI) now expects significant delays in the calculated vaccination schedule. “This would arithmetically delay the vaccination result by one month,” ZI boss Dominik von Stillfried told Handelsblatt. Instead of August, all who want to vaccinate would receive a second dose in September. The institute’s calculation model assumes that previously approved products from Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Biontech / Pfizer are delivered as promised and that GPs can vaccinate them as early as possible.
The federal and state health ministers had planned a wide-ranging vaccination start by the week of April 19 at the latest. Individual countries – including Bavaria – wanted to involve GPs across the board from the beginning of April.
CSU chief Markus Söder says he does not believe that vaccinations against Astrazeneca will generally be suspended. After investigating the incidents, it would still be possible to vaccinate many groups, Söder predicted in the ARD. “I would also get up immediately.” He recommended further postponing the second vaccination, involving doctors in the vaccination campaign at an early stage, and relaxing the established sequence of vaccinations.
SPD chairman Norbert Walter-Borjans accused Spahn of initially adhering to the assessment of the EU medicines authority EMA after the Danish incidents and that he has now turned around. “To say headlongly a week in advance that the risks outweigh the benefits, and then a few days later, as everyone prepares for the vaccination, to say,” Well, that’s too hot for now. me, “also does not testify to a sober, overlooked policy,” said the financial expert in the ZDF “update of the daily newspaper”.
The EMA also states that the vaccinations can be continued. The investigation of the cases continues, she said Monday evening in Amsterdam, her security committee decided Thursday.