Vaccination delay: why does the drug Astrazeneca find so few buyers? Free press

Berlin.

With the expected delivery of more than one million doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine, the vaccination backlog with this drug in the federal states could increase again by the end of the week. According to figures from the Ministry of Health, nearly 1.1 million doses of the vaccine are due to be delivered by Thursday, bringing the total delivery volume to nearly 3.2 million. According to figures from the Robert Koch Institute, only about 455,000 people had received a vaccination by Sunday during the preparation of the British-Swedish manufacturer.

The federal government on Monday rejected the impression that the vaccine had simply been left unused. There could be several reasons why the Astrazeneca vaccine has not yet been administered, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin. Vaccine could initially be delivered relatively fresh, withheld for a second vaccination or not yet vaccinated, but intended for certain vaccinations.

Last weekend, approximately 91,000 people in Germany were vaccinated with the drug Astrazeneca. If it stays that way, nearly two million cans could initially go unused by the end of the week. In total, more than 6.1 million vaccinations against the corona virus had been administered up to and including Sunday. The majority is due to the Biontech / Pfizer vaccine.

The federal government is currently rejecting a widespread introduction of the Astrazeneca vaccine to people outside of the priority groups. Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) recently put forward a less rigid prioritization for Astrazeneca to narrow the backlog as soon as possible. On Monday he also suggested that general practitioners, company doctors or school doctors vaccinate Astrazeneca outside the vaccination centers.

“The vaccination backlog of Astrazeneca can be eliminated immediately,” said the board of the German Patient Protection Foundation Eugen Brysch. About six million caregivers are waiting for their vaccination offer. “But nothing has happened here so far.”

According to studies, the Astrazeneca preparation is slightly less effective than the Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. In addition, the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) in Germany – unlike the EU Medicines Agency (EMA) – has so far only recommended it for people between the ages of 18 and 64 because there is no data on the effect in the elderly. However, De Stiko announced that it would reconsider its recommendation as soon as possible. Then Astrazeneca could also be used for the elderly.

When it came to publicly vaccinating politicians to polish the image of the Astrazeneca vaccine, the federal government was reluctant. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) currently does not want to be vaccinated with the Astrazeneca vaccine on television, as Seibert made clear. This was suggested by the Secretary General of the German Immunology Society, Carsten Watzl.

The government spokesman explained that Merkel had repeatedly said she would be vaccinated when it was her turn. Merkel is also 66 years old and, according to Seibert, the vaccine is currently only recommended for people under 65. In contrast, the reigning mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller (SPD), would be “immediately vaccinated with Astrazeneca,” as he said. Both Seibert and Müller pointed to the safety of the vaccine. Dpa

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