As of Wednesday 31 March, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine is to be used primarily for people over the age of 60. This has now been decided by the Federal and Länder Ministers of Health and Senators for Health.
Earlier, the German Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) had published a revised draft of their recommendations for COVID-19 vaccinations. In it, the Committee recommends using the AstraZeneca vaccine for people over the age of 60. It may, however, still be used in younger people, reads the decision “at the discretion of the physician and having weighed up the individual risks on a case by case basis, and if the vaccinee so decides after being fully informed”.
The recommendations published by STIKO are based on findings compiled by experts in recent weeks regarding very rare but very serious cases of clots in the vessels draining blood from the brain (CVST) in individuals who had been inoculated with the AstraZeneca vaccine. “These are findings that the Standing Committee on Vaccination cannot ignore and that we thus cannot ignore,” said the Chancellor.
Vaccinations are still the most important weapon in efforts to combat COVID-19, and citizens must be able to trust the vaccines. “Trust comes from the knowledge that every suspicion and every individual case will be followed up,” said the Chancellor. “The Federal and Länder Governments guarantee that.”
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn stressed, “Citizens in Germany can be sure that vaccines approved for use in Germany are minutely monitored – and that the results of this monitoring will be made transparent.”
The Ministers of Health and Senators for Health of the Länder have agreed the following with the Federal Minister of Health:
The decision now means that over 60-year-olds can be vaccinated more rapidly, stressed Jens Spahn. “I can only ask all over 60-year-olds to take up this offer of a vaccination. “The AstraZeneca vaccine is extremely effective – especially in the older age groups.
People under the age of 60 who have already received the first AstraZeneca vaccination may decide whether to take the second AstraZeneca shot or whether they would prefer to wait for the moment, said the Conference of Ministers of Health. The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) is to publish additional recommendations on this by the end of April.