Germany Restricts Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine for Under-60s
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German health officials agreed to restrict the use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine in people under 60 unless they belong to a high-risk category for serious illness from COVID-19 and have agreed to take the vaccine despite the small risk of a serious side-effect. Amid fresh concern over unusual blood clots reported in a tiny number of those who received the shots.

The European Medicines Agency said at the time that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks. Several German regions had already suspended use of the shots in younger people. Nine of the people died and all but two of the cases involved women aged 20 to 63. AstraZeneca says tens of millions of people worldwide have received its vaccines.

The company says the EU regulator and the World Health Organization concluded that the benefits of the shot outweigh the risks. It says it will continue to work with German authorities to address any questions they might have. Canada suspends the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in people under 55. Canada cites new concerning data from Europe. Germany is scrambling to ramp up its vaccine program, which lags far behind those in Britain and the United States.

Study: The condition is similar to a side-effect seen in some patients who receive the blood-thinning medication heparin. The study doesn't provide a conclusive explanation for why some people develop blood clots. Still, experts not involved in the study say it offers important information to doctors. Some experts warn the German decision could harm the vaccine campaign.

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