Germany will not make the British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine available to everyone in the country, the government announced on Monday although a large amount of these vaccines remain largely unused due to scepticism towards the jab.
After an additional delivery on Thursday, Germany will have 3.2 million doses, with which it has only vaccinated 455,000 people as of Sunday.
Part of the issue is that the vaccine is only being used on people aged 18 to 64, given the recommendation of the country’s Standing Committee on Vaccination. This means that the groups that are currently prioritised, namely those over 80, cannot receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Given these issues, some state leaders, including Baden-Würtemberg leader Winfried Kretschmann (Greens) and Bavarian premier Markus Söder (CSU) advocated for allowing anyone to get inoculated with the AstraZeneca dose. Some politicians had previously called for extending vaccination eligibility to teachers and daycare workers in lower priority groups, which started in many states as of last week.
Extending eligibility to the entire population was, however, rejected by the federal government on Monday. “A blanket release at this point is not something the federal government is pursuing,” said government speaker Steffen Seibert, adding that there are enough unvaccinated educators and others in priority groups that are to receive the jab.
(Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)