France will stop administering AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine pending an assessment by the European Union’s medicine regulator due on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday following a similar announcement by the German and Italian governments.
The German government said Monday that it was suspending the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine over new reports of dangerous blood clots in connection with the shot.
The Germany health ministry said the decision was taken as a “precaution” and on the advice of the national vaccine regulator, the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), which called for further investigation of the cases.
“After new reports of thromboses of the cerebral veins in connection with the vaccination in Germany and Europe, the PEI considers further investigations to be necessary,” said the health ministry.
“The European Medicines Agency EMA will decide whether and how the new findings will affect the approval of the vaccine,” it added.
Shortly afterward, the Italian medicines authority AIFA said it was taking the same decision.
Several European countries, including Denmark, Norway, Ireland and the Netherlands, had already suspended usage of the shots, which were jointly developed with the University of Oxford. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg have also put the vaccine on hold.
Both AstraZeneca and Oxford have said there is no link between their vaccine and blood clotting.