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Friday Apr 02 2021

People under 60 should not get 2nd AstraZeneca vaccine: German experts

An AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at the local vaccination centre as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Hagen, Germany, on March 19, 2021. REUTERS
  • Germany’s vaccine commission has urged people to try different products for their second dose.
  • Germany says only people aged 60 and over should be administered the AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • It is due to the rare but severe occurrence of thromboembolic side effects.

MERLIN: STIKO, Germany’s vaccine commission, has urged people under 60-years-old who have had the first shot of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to receive a different manufacturer's jab for their second dose.

Earlier in the week, Germany said only people aged 60 and over should be administered the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the rare but severe occurrence of thromboembolic side effects. 

It said it would make a separate recommendation later on younger people who had already received the first shot.

Read more: Pfizer says coronavirus vaccine 91% effective, prevents illness from South African variant

In an updated recommendation on its website, STIKO said there was no scientific evidence on the safety of a mixed series of vaccines.

“Until the appropriate data is available, STIKO recommends for people under 60 years old that instead of the second AstraZeneca dose, a dose of an mRNA-vaccine should be given 12 weeks after the first vaccine,” STIKO said.

Messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccinations include those made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.