The measure reverses a previous decision to restrict the shooting of COVID from AstraZeneca to people over 60 years of age.
Germany will allow the administration of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to adults of all ages and aims to offer a vaccine to young people aged 12 to 18 by the end of August, as it tries to speed up its deployment. say Health Minister Jens Spahn.
The country’s 16 regional health ministers have agreed with Spahn to reverse an earlier decision to restrict the shooting of AstraZeneca to people over 60. He also said the current 12-week difference between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca vaccines could be shortened.
“Both measures serve to accelerate our overall vaccination campaign,” Spahn said Thursday.
The initial shortage of supply and bureaucratic hurdles caused Germany, which has the largest economy in Europe, to slowly begin its inoculation strategy.
The measure, which has already been taken in several German states, would be voluntary and family doctors would decide the best way to administer the vaccine, Spahn said.
Millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been safely administered in Europe, but concerns persist about a rare type of blood clot seen in an extremely small number of receptors, meaning that some people in early priority groups due to of his pre-existing age or health the conditions for obtaining it have been endured, preferring to wait for another vaccine.
Dozens of countries stopped using the AstraZeneca vaccine in March or restricted them to older adults. However, several of them have resumed its use either in full or with restrictions after health regulators said the benefits of the shot outweigh the risks.
Launch for age groups between 12 and 18 years
Spahn also said Germany intended to offer a vaccine to 12- to 18-year-olds by the end of August, provided European regulators give approval for the BioNTech-Pfizer trait for this age group.
So far, 30.6 percent of the German population of about 83 million has received a first dose and 8.6 percent are completely vaccinated, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute.
This weekend, Germany is due to ease restrictions on people who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19. They will be exempt from a night curfew and will no longer have to provide any negative evidence to go shopping.
Germany has been hit by a third wave of pandemic, but the number of new cases is shrinking. The seven-day incidence fell to 129 per 100,000 on Thursday, data from the Robert Koch Institute showed.
The launch of vaccines in the country was heavily criticized for its slow start, but has drastically increased the pace, with 15 million shots in April, as many as in the previous three months combined, Spahn said.