BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s vaccine advisory committee recommends people under 30 be vaccinated only with the BioNTech/Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine as it showed a lower number of heart inflammations in younger people than the Moderna vaccination, it said on Wednesday.
The committee, known as STIKO, also recommended that pregnant women, independent of their age, be inoculated only with the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine as well.
STIKO based its recommendation on new safety data from the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), Germany’s authority in charge of vaccines, and new international data.
Germany is the latest European Union country to recommend limiting use of the Moderna vaccine on younger people.
France’s public health authority this week recommended people under 30 be given Pfizer’s vaccine when available instead of the Moderna jab. Finland and Sweden have also limited use of the Moderna shot.
Moderna on Tuesday applied for European authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6-11 years, weeks after it delayed a similar filing with U.S. regulators.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Robert Koch Institute public health authority reported 39,676 new COVID-19 cases in Germany, a record for the third day in a row. That brought the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases to 4,844,054.
The total number of deaths increased by 236 to 96,963.
The institute also reported a rise in the coronavirus seven-day incidence rate – the number of people per 100,000 to be infected over the last week – to the highest level since the start of the pandemic, also a record for the third day in a row.
Germany has already had to relocate some patients from regions with overburdened hospitals.
The three German parties in talks to form a coalition government by early December have agreed not to extend a nationwide state of emergency.
Instead, they presented a draft law late on Monday that would amend existing legislation to allow for measures such as compulsory face masks and social distancing in public spaces to continue to be enforced until March next year.
The draft law is due to be presented to the Bundestag lower house of parliament on Thursday and voted on in a special session a week later.
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