There are still some 650,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in German freezers, no one is interested. Many of the healthcare workers for whom these vaccines are intended prefer to wait to be vaccinated with another COVID-19 vaccine later. In addition to Germany, Belgian healthcare workers are also concerned about the results of the vaccine from the British-Swedish company.
Only a few people arrive every hour for a COVID-19 vaccination at the old Tegel airport in Berlin, where only AstraZeneca vaccines are administered, while hundreds of invitations are sent out every day.
These messages come in from all over Germany: healthcare personnel who do not show up when they have received an invitation to be vaccinated against COVID-19. In Berlin, 29,000 vaccines from AstraZeneca remained. In the whole of Germany, this would amount to 650,000 pieces, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute.
The called-up healthcare personnel would rather wait for another vaccine, such as that of Pfizer, which showed better results in vaccine studies. It has been reported from various countries that the AstraZeneca vaccine can cause relatively severe side effects. If the German health care workers do not accept the invitation for vaccination now, they will receive another invitation to vaccinate at a later date.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn reiterated his confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine last Friday. He called it one ‘safe and effective’ vaccine. Berlin mayor Michael Müller believes that people who now refuse the vaccine can simply join the back of the queue. Vaccines must be prevented from expiring. ‘I will not allow tens of thousands of doses to be in our fridges, while at the same time millions of people would want to get vaccinated right away’, aldus Müller tegenover Der Tagesspiegel. ‘I would also be vaccinated with it right away. It works great. Those who do not want to have lost their chance. We will then offer it to others. ‘
Müller wants to discuss with other federal states whether the vaccine can now be offered to other professional groups such as teachers, police officers and firefighters. ‘These people have hundreds of contacts every day’, and are therefore also eligible for a rapid COVID-19 vaccination.
According to top virologist Christian Drosten, there is nothing wrong with the effect of the AstraZeneca vaccine. ‘The vaccines we have are very good beyond expectations’Drosten told his podcast this week. ‘There is always something to be found that could be improved, and that is made bigger than it is. But it does not work like that. What counts is that all vaccines minimize the risk of a serious COVID-19 infection. ‘
Hundreds of thousands of AstraZeneca vaccines are languishing in German refrigerators: healthcare workers prefer to wait for competitors https://t.co/DLptjFM8vz
– 🤘🏻 metalfan 🤘🏻 (@geverskris) February 21, 2021
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