BERLIN (AP) – The German Independent Vaccine Committee has officially approved the shooting of AstraZeneca in people 65 and older, advising them to wait 12 weeks between the first and second doses, the health minister said on Thursday.
The decision is “good news for older people waiting for vaccinations,” said Minister Jens Spann. “They will be vaccinated faster.”
The vaccine, developed by the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca, is one of three countries authorized to use the 27-nation European Union. However, a number of countries, including Germany, initially limited it to only 65, or in some cases up to 55, citing a lack of data on its effectiveness in the elderly.
But the release of new data on pressure դրա to accelerate the slow spread of EU vaccines has prompted all bloc authorities to reconsider their position.
The Independent Committee, known by its German acronym StiKo, advised to wait 12 weeks between running AstraZeneca’s first առաջին second shot և as studies show that this increases the effectiveness of the vaccine. The UK, which has had a very successful vaccine turnover, has been dealing with vaccine shots for 12 weeks since last year.
The officer said both proposals would be quickly incorporated into German vaccine rules, which the government said would be repaired late Wednesday evening to make vaccine shots available to more people sooner.
Restrictive rules and rushed deliveries have forced Germany to rely on more than 2 million doses of AstraZeneca, even when many who want the vaccine are unable to shoot.
Data from this week’s mass immunization program in the UK show that AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines are about 60% more effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in people over the age of 70 after just one dose. An analysis published by Public Health England in England, which has not yet been reviewed by peers, also showed that both vaccines were about 80% effective in preventing people over the age of 80 from being hospitalized.
Earlier this week, France, Belgium and Italy eased their age limits on the AstraZeneca vaccine as European countries struggled to cope with the upcoming third concussion of COVID-19 cases. The World Health Organization’s director of European affairs, Dr. Hans Kluge, said on Thursday that new infections had risen by 9% across Europe over the past week, ending a six-week decline.
Germany is threatened by a third increase in infections, fueled by a more contagious version first discovered in Britain, Bavarian Governor Marcus Soder said on Thursday. Five of the countries with the highest rates of infection are in the southern German state near the border with the Czech Republic, which now has one of the worst outbreaks in Europe.
Over the past day, the German Agency for Disease Control reported 11,912 newly confirmed infections, bringing the total to 2.47 million. According to the Robert Koch Institute, the number of cases of COVID increased by 359 to 71,240.
On Wednesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of 16 German states agreed to extend some of the blockade until March 28, while setting out a roadmap for recreation in low-infection areas.
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