Researchers at the Greifswald teaching hospital in northern Germany said on Friday that they had discovered the cause of the unusual blood clot problems found in some recipients of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, public broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) reported.
The investigation showed how the vaccine caused blood clots in the brain in a few patients. The discovery means that targeted treatment can be developed to prevent problems.
The success was a result of cooperation between the Greifswald hospital, state health regulator the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), as well as doctors from Austria — a nurse there died from thrombosis in the brain after being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca jab.
The researchers emphasized that treatment would only be possible in patients where blood clots appear, rather than as a preventative treatment. The information has been shared with hospitals around Europe.
Germany, as well as several other EU member states, suspended the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday following reports of unusual blood clots.
On Thursday the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that there were no proven links between the vaccine and the blood clots, based on the information they had. They also stated that the benefits of the jab outweighed any possible risks.
Germany was set to restart vaccinations with the English-Swedish jab on Friday. By Thursday Germany had administered over 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including the AstraZeneca vaccine.