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23 Apr, 2021 11:04

‘As many as possible’: Berlin, three other German states make AstraZeneca vaccine available to ALL despite federal warning

‘As many as possible’: Berlin, three other German states make AstraZeneca vaccine available to ALL despite federal warning

In a bid to get people vaccinated faster, local authorities in four German states have lifted age restrictions for the AstraZeneca vaccine. On the federal level, it's only being given to older people due to medical concerns.

The Covid-19 vaccine from the British-Swedish company has been made available for all age groups over 18 in Bavaria, Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Saxony. Consultation with a doctor is required before getting the shot to discuss the risks involved. There have been concerns that the vaccine can cause blood clotting, so elsewhere in Germany, it’s only being administered to people over the age of 60, for whom Covid-19 poses a higher risk.  

Also on rt.com Number of blood clot cases reported after use of AstraZeneca vaccine increases to 168 – UK drug regulator

After announcing the cancellation of the strict priority risk on Thursday, officials in Berlin said they were “reacting to the current epidemiological situation with this decision.”

During the current infection wave it’s important to get as many people vaccinated as possible, as soon as possible,” Berlin's health senator, Dilek Kalayci, said. She admitted the move was being made despite the vaccine “requiring a lot of education.” 

Earlier this week, health authorities in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania also said they were lifting age priority restrictions set by Germany’s central vaccination commission, so as not to waste AstraZeneca doses.

Similarly, in Bavaria and Saxony, all adults can have the AstraZeneca jab. 

The EU has certified several Western-made vaccines, including BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca, for use. The latter has been criticized by EU officials both over the supply delays that have slowed immunization campaigns and the vaccine's potential medical risks, which have led to the introduction of age restrictions. This week the EU announced it had no plans to buy more of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine.

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