News – PH – Covid vaccine: Germany urges AstraZeneca Jab to support people over 65

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A senior German immunologist has urged his country to change its mind and allow people over 65 to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

In a BBC interview, Carsten Watzl, head of the German Society for Immunology, predicted that the supervisory authorities would have to reverse their decision not to recommend the sting to older people

He asked Angela Merkel to show the vaccine live on TV to prove that it was safe

The call from Prof Watzl comes after recent studies in Scotland showed the AstraZeneca push is effective in the elderly

Germany is one of several EU countries that have expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the vaccine in older people

The country is currently fighting to avoid a third wave of infections as cases remain stubbornly high

The EU regulator approved the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for all ages in January

However, the rollout met with public skepticism after regulators in countries like France, Germany and Italy recommended not to use it for people over 65. They cited insufficient data on effectiveness in the elderly

The German health authorities have so far fewer than 300000 of the 1 used17 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine the country received

In January, French President Emmanuel Macron said the bump was “virtually ineffective” for older ages – a claim that has been heavily refuted by the UK government and medical regulators, AstraZeneca itself says the vaccine is effective at all ages is

The decision was supported by recent research by Public Health Scotland which found that four weeks after the first dose, hospital admissions for the Pfizer BioNTech and AstraZeneca shocks decreased by 85% and 15%, respectively 94% were reduced

There were 81% fewer hospital admissions overall among those 80 and over when the results for both vaccines were combined

“I think Germany will soon reverse course too,” said Prof Watzl opposite the radio program of BBC Radio 4

“In order for us to achieve our vaccination goals, we need people to receive this vaccine

“We know the vaccine works in this age group. Recent data from Scotland clearly show that it induces an immune response This vaccine protects the elderly from serious illnesses “

Prof Watzl predicted that German regulators would “reverse course based on data coming from Scotland”

“At this point, if [Chancellor] Angela Merkel went on live TV and had the vaccine, that would be great,” he added

On Friday, Thomas Mertens, head of the German vaccination commission, informed ZDF that the authority would “very soon publish a new updated recommendation” on the AstraZeneca vaccine

He said it was awaiting further details from the authors of the study conducted in Scotland

Germany has confirmed more than 2.4 million cases of the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic and just over 70000 deaths

There has been a lockdown since mid-December, but infections are still worryingly high and officials have found it difficult to ease restrictions

Figures released last week showed that the infection rate had risen to 593 cases per 100000 people in the past seven days, down from 57 a week ago

The government will meet next week to review the lockdown rules for Jan. March to check

Chancellor Merkel has warned that the country could be hit by a third wave of cases if the lockdown is lifted too quickly

The interview with Carsten Watzl will be broadcast on Sunday at 09:00 GMT on BBC Radio 4

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the Belgian company Janssen is the third vaccine approved in the USA

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AstraZeneca, vaccine, Germany, Angela Merkel, coronavirus

News – PH – Covid vaccine: Germany is urgently asked to support AstraZeneca for people over 65

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56227171