Doubts about Astrazeneca disrupt vaccination campaign | Free press


Berlin / Brussels (dpa) – Anger over the vaccines from Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson disrupts the vaccination campaign in Germany. All children under 60 years of age who have received a primary vaccination course with Astrazeneca should, as a rule, receive vaccines from Biontech / Pfizer or Moderna for the secondary vaccination.

But a second vaccination with Astrazeneca should also be possible on request. Germany’s highest statutory health insurance company Andreas Gassen has already described Astrazeneca as the “controversial” vaccine and opposed the fact that GPs should also vaccinate it in large quantities. In Brussels, Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, announced that the EU will receive an additional 50 million Biontech / Pfizer cans by the end of June. In the second quarter, Germany received nearly 50 million doses of this vaccine instead of 40.2 million.

The background to the excitement about the vaccines is that Astrazeneca in Germany is only recommended for people over 60 years old. Its use for younger people remains voluntary in the medical judgment of people without a higher risk of blood clots. The reason for the limitation is that there were the last 42 suspected cases of sinus venous thrombosis following vaccination with Astrazeneca. Astrazeneca has now been vaccinated 3.8 million times in Germany. Of the 42 cases, 35 women were affected between the ages of 20 and 63. 8 victims died. In Denmark, the vaccination campaign is now continuing without preparation from the British-Swedish company.


State health ministers decided, in agreement with the Standing Vaccination Commission, that there are now two options for people under 60 with a first Astrazeneca vaccination: a second vaccination with Biontech / Pfizer or Moderna or a second vaccination with Astrazeneca . The condition for the second option is a joint decision with the doctor based on medical judgment, risk analysis and information. “In principle, this should be done in general practice.” The same applies to people under 60 from priority groups one and two of the vaccination prioritization. Otherwise, Astrazeneca should be used for people over 60 years old. It was decided that the federal states could also involve 60-69 year olds in their vaccination campaign for this vaccine. “This particularly endangered and numerically large age group can now be vaccinated more quickly in view of the growing third wave.”


Millions of people over 60 do not yet have vaccination protection. According to the Federal Statistical Office, there are about 28.5 million people over 60 in Germany. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the percentage of first vaccinations in this age group varies between 30.5 percent in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and 35.8 percent in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. percent in Lower Saxony at the bottom of the scale – and 47.3 percent for leader Bremen. For some countries there is no information.


The chairman of the board of the National Association of Legal Doctors Health Insurers (KBV), Gassen, criticized the fact that GPs now receive less Biontech vaccine than in the beginning and that they also receive Astrazeneca. The vaccination campaign would come to a standstill so massively, he told the “Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung” (Wednesday). “That may not happen!” A spokesman for Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) rejected Gassen’s claim that the supply of vaccines to doctors’ offices would be halved. “On the contrary, the amount of vaccine is steadily increasing. In addition, it was always clear that the practices would receive vaccines from different manufacturers after two weeks. “About one million Biontech cans go to doctor’s offices in the current week, there should be about 462,000 cans of Biontech and over 554,000 cans of Astrazeneca in the next week, 1.16 million cans of Biontech and 343,000 cans of Astrazeneca in the last week of April. Brandenburg suspends vaccination invitations to replace Astrazeneca with existing Biontech and Moderna cans for second vaccinations.


Biontech and Pfizer plan to deliver an additional 50 million doses of corona vaccine to EU countries by the end of June, von der Leyen announced. It is a delivery that will be brought forward from the fourth quarter. In the second quarter of April to June, a total of 250 million doses of vaccine would come from Biontech / Pfizer. The supply is distributed among the 27 EU countries based on the share of the population. For Germany this is 18.6 percent. Mathematically, Germany can expect a good 9 million cans from the extra delivery. This could partially offset potential failures in Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Von der Leyen also announced negotiations with Biontech / Pfizer for an additional 1.8 billion vaccine doses for the period from 2021 to 2023.


The consequences of the vaccination with the preparation of Johnson & Johnson in the US and the delays in market introduction in the EU are unclear. There were also reports of cerebral venous thrombosis. Six cases have been recorded in the United States. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) plans to issue an opinion on this next week. Until then, however, the vaccine can be used without restrictions – the “benefits of the vaccine to prevent Covid-19” must be estimated to outweigh the risks of side effects. The vaccine is approved in the EU. In Germany, 10.1 million cans will be delivered in the second quarter and a total of 36.7 million cans in 2021.

Vaccination status and delivery forecast:

Bremen was the first federal state to cross the 20 percent mark for first-time vaccinations, followed by Saarland with 19.3 percent of the population. According to the national vaccination dashboard, Hesse and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are at the bottom with less than 16 percent. A total of 16.9 percent nationwide are now equipped with at least one vaccination. 19 million vaccine doses have been given. 530,000 were added the day before. A total of nearly 50 million Biontech / Pfizer cans are expected in the second quarter, up 15.4 million from Astrazeneca, 10.1 from Johnson @ Johnson, 6.4 million from Moderna and 1.4 million from Curevac. SPD expert Karl Lauterbach appealed to Twitter for an emergency permit for the as-yet-unapproved Curevac, saying gaps for “the large group of under-60s” should be filled.