Hamburg / London (dpa) – Astrazeneca’s deputy boss in Germany notes a “bias in perception” of their own vaccine.
“In Germany, the vaccine is mainly used by younger people, that is, working people. These generally have stronger immune responses and – unlike retirees – can call in sick at work, “said Klaus Hinterding, German vice-head of the pharmaceutical company, the German news agency.” This has led to a distorted picture in Germany. . “
In many German regions, Astrazeneca’s drug, which was co-developed with renowned Oxford University, has been dumped in recent days and weeks – also because many citizens do not take advantage of their vaccination offerings. According to initial research data and reports, many would have likely considered the drug to be significantly less effective or safe than Biontech or Moderna’s vaccines. “I don’t even know if anything really went wrong,” said Hinterding, referring to the image problem. “An incredible amount of numbers went through the scientific literature and also the daily press,” said the vice-boss. “Most importantly, the vaccine was always very effective in protecting against the severe course of the disease.”
Another reason for the large amounts of vaccine doses currently in German refrigerators is that in many places the second dose is reserved for a vaccination so that it is ready for the patient’s second appointment. Elsewhere, including in Britain, people are also relying on supplies and vaccinating what’s out there. Even if Astrazeneca didn’t want to rule out fluctuations in supplies, Hinterding said, “Personally, I wouldn’t leave huge amounts of vaccine doses in the fridge.” But there is no risk that the vaccine will actually expire. The vaccine can be stored for up to six months at refrigerator temperatures.
According to new study data from England and Scotland, which clearly demonstrate the vaccine’s efficacy and safety even in older people, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) has now also recommended Astrazeneca for people over 65 years of age. In many other countries, all age groups were vaccinated with it from the start. The new release could close the vaccination backlog in Germany. “I am convinced that it is developing in the right direction,” said Hinterding. “The vaccinations are the only way out of the pandemic. We cannot do without the Astrazeneca vaccine. This knowledge will prevail. “
This week, the supply of 250,000 Astrazeneca vaccine doses from the EU to Australia was stopped for the first time. It was the first measure of its kind after the EU introduced export controls on vaccines to avoid harming the international community. However, Hinterding declined to comment on requests for exports from the European Union and specifically promised delivery quantities.