France, Italy and Germany join the group of countries that suspended AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine as a precaution pending a new assessment by the European Union's medicines regulator.

Iran Press/Europe: A spokesman for the German government said it had suspended the injection of the AstraZeneca vaccine following a recommendation from the Paul Ulrich Research Institute.

The German health ministry, the Italian medicines authority and French President Emmanuel Macron said the measure was a "precaution" while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) looks into the matter.

Macron said EU regulators were expected to give guidance on Tuesday afternoon.

Spain joined the group early on Monday evening, with a pause in its use of the vaccine to last at least two weeks, and Slovenia has also temporarily halted its rollout of the jab.

So far, countries such as Norway, Denmark, Austria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria and Ireland have suspended the British AstraZeneca vaccine due to side effects such as blood clots. 219