The German government wants to stop prioritizing those over 65 in vaccination against covid-19 with the AstraZeneca immunizer, as the country’s experts doubt its effectiveness in this age group, announced on Saturday (30) the Minister of Health.
“We will have to review the vaccination order” because of the “age limitations of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” said German Health Minister Jens Spahn during a conversation with health workers.
On Friday, the German vaccine official reiterated his recommendation, already expressed the day before, that the AstraZeneca vaccine should not be authorized for people over 65.
Experts consider that “there is not enough data to comment on the effectiveness” of this immunizer in elderly people.
However, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approved on Friday the use of this vaccine in people over 18 and with no age limit in the European Union (EU).
Jens Spahn said he wants to “apply” the decision by the German experts.
The British laboratory vaccine could be used primarily for younger people or for “health personnel,” he added.
Germany will issue the official authorization at the beginning of next week, at the latest.
The vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, is the third approved by EMA, after those by Pfizer / BioNTech, on December 21, and Moderna, on January 6.
Despite delays in delivery of the AstraZeneca vaccine, Jens Spahn said on Saturday that he expected to receive “five million additional doses before February 22”, counting the entire vaccine set.
According to the Robert Koch Health Surveillance Institute, as of last Friday, 2.2% of the German population (1,855,457 people) had received at least one dose of the covid-19 vaccine.