Merkel begs Germans to have Oxford vaccine her ministers rubbished as country gripped by third wave of pandemicFebruary 24, 2021
ANGELA Merkel has begged Germans to take the Oxford Covid vaccine as the country battles a devastating third wave of the pandemic.
The German chancellor warned the country cannot afford “ups and downs” amid refusals of the Oxford vaccine rollout.
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Merkel's message comes after German authorities recommended the Oxford jab should not be used on people aged 65 or above, because of a lack of data.
But she told MPs last night: “We are now in the third wave. We cannot afford ups and downs."
Germany is under pressure to speed up its vaccine rollout as the country is inoculating fewer than 900,000 people a week and already has nearly a million unused Oxford-AstraZeneca doses, reported The Times.
Scaremongering about the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has resulted in some people flatly refusing the jab in countries including Germany and France.
Many are skipping their appointments after finding out they would receive the Oxford vaccine, as they instead want the Pfizer jab – causing further issues in their shambolic vaccination drives.
It comes as new findings show just one shot of the British-made Covid jab slashes older people’s risk of being taken to hospital with the disease by 94 per cent, suggesting it is actually slightly more effective than the Pfizer vaccine after a single dose.
It is the first time the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been proven to protect over-65s against the disease.
German leaders have launched a public relations push to reassure the public that the AstraZeneca shot, developed at Britain’s Oxford University, works.
“The vaccine from AstraZeneca is both safe and highly effective,” Steffen Seibert, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief spokesman, tweeted on Monday. “The vaccine can save lives.”
AstraZeneca says that the reported side effects are in line with observations from its clinical trials.
The Paul Ehrlich Institute has called the vaccine highly effective and described reactions to it as short-lived, reported Reuters.
Amid Merkel’s desire to get her country back on track, a vaccine priority reshuffle has seen teachers leapfrog up the list as teaching staff have now been promoted to the second-highest priority ranking for vaccines.
They join other priority groups including GPs, people with dementia, chronic illnesses or learning disabilities and the over-75s.
This means that the first teachers in the eastern state of Thuringia could receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab by the end of the week because the vaccine is not approved for use in over-65s.
In other regions such as Hamburg they will have to wait for more than a month as authorities struggle to get through vaccinating the over-80s, frontline hospital staff and people with serious medical conditions.
Germany has administered 5 million vaccine doses so far, or around six for every 100 residents, putting it well behind countries like Israel, Britain or the United States that have more aggressive campaigns.
Most are of the Pfizer vaccine, which was developed by Germany’s BioNTech, and have been given so far to the elderly and infirm.
Of the 1.5 million AstraZeneca shots due to have been delivered by the end of last week, only 187,000 have been used so far, according to figures from the health ministry and Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.
In the UK, almost 18 million first vaccine doses have been given, meaning around 26 in 100 people has been vaccinated so far.
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