The German authorities have paved the way for the vaccination of elderly patients with AstraZeneca’s corona vaccine.
Vaccination Committee STIKO now also recommends using the drug for people over 65, the German Ministry of Health announced.
The vaccination committee also recommends extending the maximum period between the first and second vaccination with the vaccine to twelve weeks. “This is good news for older people waiting for a vaccine. They can now be vaccinated more quickly,” said the ministry, which is adopting both recommendations.
In Germany, only people under the age of 65 were previously given the AstraZeneca vaccine. The underlying reason was that only a limited number of elderly people participated in the drug study. As a result, it was initially not entirely clear how well the drug works in people in that age group.
As a result, many doses of the drug remained on the shelf in Germany. This was also because some Germans preferred to be vaccinated with vaccines that they see as more effective. The German authorities acknowledged last month that only 15 percent of the available doses of AstraZeneca had been used.
Other European countries that initially only gave the AstraZeneca drug to younger citizens are now also changing course. In Belgium, the health ministers decided this week that all adult citizens can be vaccinated with the drug.