UPDATE 1-Germany to make J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults

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BERLIN, May 10 (Reuters) – Germany is to make Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday, adding that they will be able to receive the shot on the advice of a doctor.

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Europe’s drug regulator backed J&J’s vaccine last month after examining cases of a rare blood clotting issue in U.S. adults who received a dose. But it left it up to the European Union’s member states to decide how to use it.

Germany’s move to offer the J&J single-dose vaccine widely follows the lifting of restrictions last week on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

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The AstraZeneca shot had been earmarked for people aged over 60 following similar reports of very rare but sometimes fatal clotting events in younger people, with women disproportionately affected.

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The decisions reflect Germany’s progress in vaccinating its seniors, Spahn said, adding he expected everyone aged 60 and above who wanted to be vaccinated to be offered a shot by late May or early June.

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With millions of J&J doses due to arrive later in the second quarter of this year, it made sense to make the shot more widely available, he added.

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Spahn forecast that 10 million doses of the J&J shot were expected to arrive in Germany by the end of the second quarter.

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(Reporting by Caroline Copley and Douglas Busvine; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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