Germany To Recommend Oxford Covid Vaccine For Over 65s: Angela Merkel

Marco Green
Марта 4, 2021

A woman walks with her dog at the Volkspark Friedrichshain, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Berlin, Germany March 2, 2021.

"The (German) vaccine commission, whose recommendations we are happy to follow, will authorise AstraZeneca for older age groups", she told reporters after talks with regional leaders about the next steps in fighting the pandemic.

The leaders agreed to use the full length of the approved interval between first and second vaccinations and to minimise stockpiling of booster shots to get more people started on the two-shot course.

But growing data showing the AstraZeneca shot's efficacy among the elderly in Britain has led to a change of heart in Berlin, while France has also eased a ban on administering the shot to people over the age of 65.

Germany's independent Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) said on Thursday that the AstraZeneca vaccine can be administered to older people.

The data published this week from England's mass vaccination program showed that both the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were around 60 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in people over 70 after just a single dose.

The draft plans say that from March 8 a maximum of five people from two households will be allowed to meet, with children younger than 14 exempted from the rules.

More curbs would be lifted from next week with shops reopening provided case numbers are below 50 cases per 100 000 people over 7 days in the relevant region. If the incidence rises above 50, "click and meet" restrictions kick in, whereby customers book a slot to go to the store.

Later stages would see restaurant terraces, museums and sports establishments reopen. Merkel and state leaders will discuss further steps on March 22.

With regional elections due later this month in two federal states and a national election in September, politicians are trading blame over who is responsible for the slow pace of vaccines and the roll-out of more testing for Covid-19.

Support for Merkel's Christian Democrats fell to its lowest in a year, or 34%, according to a Forsa poll conducted for RTL/ntv television, while their Social Democrat coalition partners were stuck on 16%.

The decision comes as more evidence emerges pointing to the vaccine's efficacy in older populations.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Twitter that the country would implement both recommendations "very soon".

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