So far, 42 suspected cases of rare blood clots have been reported in Germany after vaccination with AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) said on Friday evening.
The 42 cases of sinus venous thrombosis, a form of the very rare cerebral venous thrombosis, were reported up to April 2. In 23 cases thrombocytopenia - a lack of platelets in the blood - was also detected.
With the exception of seven cases, those affected were women between the ages of 20 and 63. However, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control, the jab has more often been administered to women than men. The male cases among patients 24 to 58 years old.
Of the 8 people who died, five were women and three were men, according to the PEI, the institute responsible for the safety of vaccines in the town of Langen near Frankfurt.
In women between 20 and 59 years of age, the PEI said significantly more cases had been observed than could have been expected. Germany is generally only giving the vaccine to people aged 60 and older at the moment.
Thrombosis from Pfizer/BioNTech
Seven cases of venous sinus thrombosis were reported after vaccination with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with three women aged 34 to 81 years and four men aged 81 to 86 years were affected. No cases of thrombocytopenia were reported.
When the number of vaccine doses administered is taken into account, the number of reported cases did not mark an increase compared to the number of cases of such thromboses usually expected.
Doctors and other health professionals should be alert to the signs and symptoms of thromboembolism and/or thrombocytopenia, the institute said.
Those vaccinated should seek immediate medical attention for symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain.
The same applies to neurological symptoms, such as severe or persistent headaches, blurred vision or pinpoint haemorrhages. There is no data available on any risk associated with the second vaccine dose.
By April 2, a total of about 14.38 million vaccinations had been carried out in Germany.
The institute was informed of 407 deaths "at different intervals after vaccination" in people aged between 24 and 102 years. The interval varied between less than one hour and 40 days.
In the vast majority of cases, patients had one or more previous illnesses which had presumably been the cause of death. Further information had been requested for some individual cases.