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Austria to continue using AstraZeneca vaccine

The Local Austria
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Austria to continue using AstraZeneca vaccine
FILE PHOTO: A vial of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine is seen at a vaccination centre in Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, amid the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in London, Britain, February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo/File Photo

Austria will continue using the AstraZeneca vaccine, despite several neighbouring countries including Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Slovenia this week saying they would suspend vaccinations from the manufacturer.

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Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober said on Tuesday that Austria will wait for the opinion of the European Medicines Agency before deciding whether or not to discontinue the jab. 

Germany, along with Italy, France, Spain and Slovenia on Monday said they would suspend the administrations of the vaccine as a precautionary measure due to concerns about adverse reactions from the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

Other countries including Portugal, Cyprus and Latvia have also suspended the use of the vaccine. 

Austria's National Vaccination Committee is in favour of continuing the use of the vaccine. 

At a press conference, Anschober said there is currently no evidence of a link between the adverse medical conditions observed and the use of the vaccine. 

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday that Germany had recorded seven cases of 'brain thrombosis' in people who had recently taken the vaccine. 

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Anschober said however there was no evidence that the adverse health reactions were a result of the vaccine, saying they "can also occur in unvaccinated people".

The EMA is expected to make a decision regarding AstraZeneca on Tuesday. 

"All information about side effects comes together at the EMA," Anschober said, emphasising that Austria sought to remain compliant with EU authorities. 

"National individual courses are neither effective nor trust-building in this context."

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