Oxford-AstraZeneca Corona Vaccine
Oxford-AstraZeneca Corona Vaccine AFP

Germany's capital city Berlin on Tuesday suspended vaccinations with the AstraZeneca jab for under-60s, as further reports emerge of blood clots among people who have received it.

"We are provisionally stopping vaccinations with AstraZeneca for under-60s," said Berlin's health minister Dilek Kalayci, citing "new data about side effects".

She added that it was a "precautionary measure" while the city awaited an official recommendation from federal health authorities.

"We have no serious cases of side effects in Berlin," Kalayci explained, adding that "everyone who has already received a first jab of AstraZeneca has very good protection".

Germany's medicines regulator Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) has now reported 31 cases of blood clots in people who have received AstraZeneca, Spiegel magazine reported Tuesday.

Almost all cases are reportedly in younger and middle-aged women, prompting several German hospitals to suspend the use of the jab for women under 55 this week.

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According to Kalayci, Germany's regional health ministers will meet at short notice on Tuesday and that Germany's vaccine commission was expected to make a new recommendation on AstraZeneca soon.

On Monday, Canada also recommended halting the use of the jab for under-55s "pending further analysis".

The AstraZeneca vaccine has had a rollercoaster ride, with Britain, which developed it, staunchly supporting its use, South Africa outright rejecting it, and more than a dozen EU nations suspending shots in mid-March before most restarted rollouts but with a patchwork of age restrictions.

France has limited its use to over-55s, while Spain to under-65s.

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