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German Health Minister Plans Consultations on Replacing Second AstraZeneca Shot for Under-60s

© REUTERS / MARKO DJURICAA nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
A nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.04.2021
BERLIN (Sputnik) - German Health Minister Jens Spahn said he plans to talk to regional health authorities on Wednesday about a recent recommendation of the national vaccination agency not to administer a second AstraZeneca shot to those under 60.

The standing committee on vaccination, STIKO, updated its advisory on Thursday to recommend that patients who had already received the first dose of AstraZeneca should be injected with an mRNA vaccine next, despite there being no studies on the safety or efficacy of a mixed-brand vaccination scheme.

"This second round of vaccinations is scheduled for mid-April at the earliest because Germany began rolling out AstraZeneca in early February. On Wednesday, I will discuss with state health ministers what should be done exactly," Spahn tweeted.

The minister said those under 60 years old should get a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine 12 weeks after receiving an AstraZeneca shot. Getting a second AstraZeneca shot is possible after a consultation with a doctor.

STIKO restricted the use of the UK-Swedish vaccine to people over 60 on Tuesday amid concern that the vaccine could lead to unusual blood clots in younger patients. Several such cases have been reported in Europe, prompting many EU nations to suspend the use of the vaccine last month.

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