February 26, 2021 – 21:19
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that she will not receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine because she is too old to use the vaccine. Asked by the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine if she would take a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to counter perception in Europe that the vaccine is ineffective, the 66-year-old said it is not approved for people over 65 in Germany.
“I am 66 years old and I am not part of the recommended group for AstraZeneca,” she told the newspaper.
More than 1.4 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been shipped to Germany, while healthcare workers have administered only 240,000 doses, said Thomas Mertens, who heads Germany’s standing commission on vaccines this week.
“We are trying to persuade people to accept the vaccine and really gain the trust of the vaccine in the population. “But as you may know, this is also a kind of psychological problem and, unfortunately, it will take some time to achieve this goal,” he said.
The German newspaper Handelsblatt recently published a report, citing anonymous German health officials, who said the AstraZeneca vaccine was only 8% effective in older people.
Merkel said Astrazeneca was effective and safe, while adding that as long as vaccines are scarce Germans can not choose who to take.
“AstraZeneca is a reliable, effective and safe vaccine, approved by the European Medical Agency and recommended in Germany up to the age of 65,” she told the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
“All the authorities tell us that this vaccine can be trusted. “As long as there are so few vaccines, you can not decide what to vaccinate.”
The pace of vaccine use in Europe has slowed after that of the United Kingdom. People have reportedly refused to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after European leaders cast doubt on its effectiveness./A2news