Is the AstraZeneca vaccine now being released to everyone?

Jens Spahn is aiming for AstraZeneca to be approved immediately for all those willing to vaccinate. The decision could be made on Thursday. The interval between the first and second vaccination should also be more flexible.

A young man is waiting for his vaccination dose in a vaccination center in Berlin.

Band Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) is aiming for the immediate release of AstraZeneca’s corona vaccine for all those willing to vaccinate – without prioritizing according to age, previous illness or occupational group. On this Thursday he wanted to talk to his country colleagues about it, he announced on Wednesday evening on the WDR TV show “Current Hour”. One will then “at AstraZenca clearly say for both medical practices and vaccination centers that there is no longer any prioritization there”. For AstraZeneca this will apply immediately. In addition, the interval between the first and second vaccination with AstraZeneca – currently twelve weeks – should be more flexible.

“We will generally – and I would like to talk about this tomorrow with Karl-Josef Laumann and the other 15 state ministerial colleagues – at Astrazenca clearly for medical practices and vaccination centers that there is no more prioritization there,” said Spahn in the program. Regardless of age or previous illness, anyone who wants to be vaccinated with Astrazeneca can also be vaccinated. When asked when this should apply, Spahn said: “For AstraZeneca now, that’s my suggestion.”

“Many have not yet been vaccinated”

There are, in some cases, considerable reservations about the preparation of the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company. After blood clots appear in the brain in younger people who have been vaccinated, it is only used for those over 60 years of age. On the other hand, there are many younger people who would like to be vaccinated with it, but are not yet in the vaccination sequence.

So far, just over 30 percent of the population has received at least one vaccination. 8.6 percent are fully vaccinated, so if necessary they also received a second vaccination. On Wednesday, more than a million vaccine doses were administered in Germany again.

The planned exemption of vaccinated and convalescent people from the restrictions should take the next hurdle at noon. The Bundestag then deals with an ordinance that the Federal Government has put in place in an accelerated procedure and also votes immediately. If parliament approves the new regulations, the Federal Council should seal them on Friday.

Accordingly, contact and exit restrictions for fully vaccinated and convalescent people should be eliminated. They should also be put on an equal footing with those who tested negatively and would no longer need a corona test for shops or at the hairdresser’s.

Now, more and more relaxation is being called for for those who tested negative, for example with regard to contact restrictions. “Many people have not yet been vaccinated because of a lack of vaccines,” said the chief executive of the German Association of Cities, Helmut Dedy, the newspapers of the Funke media group. “We will hardly be able to convey to people that only those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered can meet indefinitely and carefree on a summer evening in the park or for dinner at home.”

For those who have been tested, there are already extensive relaxations when shopping, visiting cultural institutions and doing sports. However, because of their susceptibility to errors, negative rapid tests provide far less security against virus transmission than full vaccination protection.

With a view to the planned exceptions for vaccinated and convalescent people, the federal government’s authorized carer, Andreas Westerfellhaus, called on the states, municipalities and care facilities to adapt the locally applicable regulations to the federal ordinance. “Now the visit bans and contact restrictions for vaccinated home residents must be lifted,” he told the editorial network Germany. Nevertheless, the Foundation for Patient Protection for Home Residents still sees many questions unanswered, as board member Eugen Brysch told the RND.

The reliable proof of a complete vaccination in order to be exempt from the corona restrictions has not yet been finally resolved. “Protection against forgery is of course an important aspect with a view to the planned digital vaccination certificate,” said the chairman of the German Association of General Practitioners, Ulrich Weigeldt, of the RND. “However, under no circumstances can the responsibility for this simply be passed on to the general practitioner.” They already have a lot to do with patient care.

Germany wants to introduce a digital corona vaccination certificate together with the EU in June. For those who have already been fully vaccinated, the vaccination status should be transferred from the analog vaccination certificate. However, forged vaccination certificates are already in circulation.

Meanwhile, opponents of the nationwide nocturnal exit restrictions had to accept a damper on Wednesday evening: The Federal Constitutional Court does not consider their complaints to be urgent and rejected the urgent motions. “This does not mean that the exit restriction is compatible with the Basic Law,” said the court in Karlsruhe. This must be clarified in the main proceedings. The restriction is admittedly a deep encroachment on living conditions, on the other hand it serves “a fundamentally legitimate purpose”, namely protection against infection, and is not obviously inappropriate.