SHARE
COPY LINK

VACCINE

Germany gives green light for over 65s to receive AstraZeneca vaccine

Germany's vaccine commission has done a U-turn - and is now recommending the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine for people over the age of 65.

Germany gives green light for over 65s to receive AstraZeneca vaccine
A police officer being given the AstraZeneca vaccine in Brandenburg. Photo: DPA

“The vaccine commission now recommends the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over 65 as well. This is good news for older people who are waiting for a jab,” said Health Minister Jens Spahn.

Germany had previously said it lacked sufficient data to greenlight the vaccine for older people, but has changed its position following recent studies.

“The new data also shows that the vaccine is even more effective when the first and second jabs are administered 12 weeks apart,” said Spahn.

He added that Germany’s vaccine law would soon be changed to reflect the new recommendations.

Thursday’s announcement came after Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the commission would be changing their position on the AstraZeneca jab.

The German government had been criticised in recent weeks for muddled communications about the AstraZeneca jab, leading to a public perception that the vaccine was less effective than those developed by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Some of the Germans first in line for a Covid-19 jab have spurned the AstraZeneca offer, leaving the country with hundreds of thousands of unopened doses.

States have started to offer the jab to under 65s from vaccination priority group 2, which includes teachers, daycare staff and police officers, in order to speed up the rollout.

Greenlighting the jab for the oldest age groups is expected to help Germany work through the backlog and pick up the pace of its sluggish vaccine rollout.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

VACCINE

‘This can be a good summer’: Half of Germans vaccinated at least once against Covid

One in two Germans have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, health authorities said Friday, before warning against complacency as the Delta variant is expected to become the dominant strain.

'This can be a good summer': Half of Germans vaccinated at least once against Covid
Jens Spahn. Photo: DPA/Carsten Koall

Some 50.1 percent of the total German population, or 41.66 million people, have now been vaccinated at least once against the coronavirus, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said on Friday.

At the same time 29.6 percent of the population now has full protection – that’s just under 25 million people.

“This can be a good summer,” said Health Minister Jens Spahn on Friday, before saying that the country needed to remain vigilant due to the spread of the Delta variant.

RKI President Lothar Wieler meanwhile warned that the numbers also showed that millions of people were still completely unprotected or only partially protected.

In order to largely dispense with the pandemic measures, the German government wants to hit 80 percent immunity – either through complete vaccination or an infection plus vaccination. 

The Delta variant, first identified in India, doubled to just over 6 percent of all new infections in Germany during the week ending June 6th in comparison with the previous seven days.

“By the autumn, it will be the dominant strain,” said Wieler.

It was “biologically logical” for the strain to become dominant simply because it was more infectious, he said.

Germany has eased most restrictions, reopening restaurants, shops, pools and museums in recent weeks as new infections dip sharply.

On Friday, it recorded 1,076 new cases, while the number of new cases over a seven day period continued to drop to 10 per 100,000 people.

Wieler said however that it was necessary to keep wearing masks indoors, such as on public transport or at offices.

“We have achieved really good results but the virus is still active and please let us give this virus no chance,” he urged.

SHOW COMMENTS