Germany to use AstraZeneca vaccine from Friday

Germany to use AstraZeneca vaccine from Friday
Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) spoke at a press conference on AstraZeneca on Thursday evening. Photo: DPA
Germany will resume vaccinations with AstraZeneca's Covid-19 jabs from Friday, Health Minister Jens Spahn said, after the European regulator EMA assessed it was "safe and effective" to use.

“The common aim of the federal government and all 16 states is for vaccinations with AstraZeneca to start again already tomorrow,” said Spahn.

The health minister took pains to justify the decision to suspend use of the vaccine on Monday for the EMA to examine a handful of cases of cerebral vein thrombosis that emerged.

On Thursday the German Health Ministry announced that 13 thrombosis cases had resulted following the vaccine, 12 of them involving women.

READ ALSO: Number of thrombosis cases following AstraZeneca jab rises to 13 in Germany

“The course of events this week shows that citizens can trust that they will be informed transparently and they can trust that careful checks will be carried out,” added Spahn.

Doctors would have to inform patients about the possible blood clotting risk before giving them the jabs, he said.

Each state, however, will approach how it administers the vaccine differently.

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In Baden-Württemberg, appointments will initially continue to be offered to people over 80 as well as to those over 65 from particularly vulnerable occupational groups.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, Astrazeneca will make vaccinations available to professional groups such as teachers at primary and special schools.

In Saarland, the jabs are to be continued in a pilot project of general practitioners as well as in hospitals.

In Hamburg, the Astrazeneca remedy is to be administered to people with special diseases in specialised practices. 

Critics had complained that the decision to halt use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine over the last few days only served to fuel mistrust over the jabs and further delay Germany’s already stuttering inoculation campaign.

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