Germany opens up AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccination for all adults and shortens dose interval, health minister announces

Adults of all ages in Germany can now receive AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, and recipients of that jab can get their second dose as soon as four weeks after their first, German Health Minister Jens Spahn has said.

In March, Germany was among the first countries to limit its rollout of the Anglo-Swedish jab to those aged 60 and above amid concerns of a link to blood clots in younger vaccine recipients.

On Thursday, Spahn announced the government and the health ministers of Germany’s federal states had reached an agreement on expanding the vaccine’s rollout to adults of all ages.

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Spahn said that lower-priority groups of the population who are waiting to be vaccinated would be happy to receive a shot of AstraZeneca’s Vaxzevria jab.

He said that doctors can now vaccinate people with Vaxzevria regardless of their prioritization status, and that they are free to shorten the interval between doses from 12 weeks to as little as four weeks.

“We want to leave this decision flexibly in the hands of doctors,” Spahn said in a statement.

The minister also announced that by the end of August all 12-18 year-olds in Germany should have received an offer to be vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, pending its approval for that age cohort next month.

Following a number of reports of unusual blood clots among a small number of AstraZeneca vaccine recipients earlier this year, the EU’s medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency, conducted a review of the cases.

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Published last month, the review found that the jab was safe, but that unusual blood clots are a “very rare side effect”, and had mostly occurred in women under 60 years of age within two weeks of their vaccination.

As of Wednesday, 8.6% of Germany’s population has been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while 30% have received one dose of a vaccine, according to Health Ministry figures.

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Source:RT World News

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