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World Germany looks to AstraZeneca shot to boost vaccine rollout

17:37  08 march  2021
17:37  08 march  2021 Source:   msn.com

Once a darling of the pandemic, Germany now has more than 1 million vaccines unused in storage

  Once a darling of the pandemic, Germany now has more than 1 million vaccines unused in storage "We are working quite hard on this and trying to convince people to accept the vaccine and really to rebuild the trust in the vaccine," one official said.Once hailed for its coronavirus response, Germany has administered just 15 percent of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine it has received, the country's health ministry said in a briefing Wednesday.

BERLIN (AP) — Germany has begun ramping up the use of the coronavirus vaccine made by AstraZeneca, after authorities last week gave the green light for it to be administered to people age 65 and over.

Bianca Ahlemeier (32), a childminder in home daycare with five children, is vaccinated with AstraZeneca's vaccine by a doctor at the vaccination centre in Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany, Monday, March 8, 2021. From today on nursery school teachers, child minders, some teachers and police officers, as well as people in workshops for disabled people, will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca's preparation. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa/ via AP) © Provided by Associated Press Bianca Ahlemeier (32), a childminder in home daycare with five children, is vaccinated with AstraZeneca's vaccine by a doctor at the vaccination centre in Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany, Monday, March 8, 2021. From today on nursery school teachers, child minders, some teachers and police officers, as well as people in workshops for disabled people, will be vaccinated with AstraZeneca's preparation. (Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa/ via AP)

Hundreds of thousands of doses have been gathering dust in storage in recent weeks because of the restrictions on who could get the vaccine and misgivings among some of those who were eligible for it. Germany has received 2.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca shot so far, but administered just 721,000, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

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  Biden to announce ‘historic partnership’: Merck will help make Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, officials say The administration brokered the arrangement amid concerns about Johnson & Johnson production delays The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a matter that has not been announced, said they began scouring the country for additional manufacturing capacity after they realized in the first days of the administration that Johnson & Johnson had fallen behind in vaccine production. They soon sought to broker a deal with Merck, one of the world’s largest vaccine makers, which had tried and failed to develop its own coronavirus vaccine.

A pharmacist takes a swab from a woman's nose in an adjoining room in Hagen, Germany, Monday, March 8, 2021. The free Corona rapid tests for all citizens were initially only offered by a few pharmacies in North Rhine-Westphalia on the launch day because of many unanswered questions. ( Oliver Berg/dpa via AP) © Provided by Associated Press A pharmacist takes a swab from a woman's nose in an adjoining room in Hagen, Germany, Monday, March 8, 2021. The free Corona rapid tests for all citizens were initially only offered by a few pharmacies in North Rhine-Westphalia on the launch day because of many unanswered questions. ( Oliver Berg/dpa via AP)

Last week, the country's independent vaccine committee said new data showed the AstraZeneca vaccine was effective in older groups too, prompting a swift changes of rules by the government, which has come under criticism for the slow rollout of anti-COVID-19 shots compared to Britain and the United States.

A soldier of the German Armed Forces Bundeswehr stands inside a new vaccination centre at the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin, Germany, before its opening on Monday, March 8, 2021. (Tobias Schwarz / Pool via AP) © Provided by Associated Press A soldier of the German Armed Forces Bundeswehr stands inside a new vaccination centre at the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin, Germany, before its opening on Monday, March 8, 2021. (Tobias Schwarz / Pool via AP)

A new vaccine center opened Monday at the disused Tempelhof airport in the heart of Berlin will administer only the AstraZeneca vaccine. Starting with 200 appointments, operators of the center hope to rapidly scale up and administer as many as 3,300 shots daily from March 23.

Only a quarter of the doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine received in France have been used

 Only a quarter of the doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine received in France have been used © Copyright 2021, L'Obs The Ministry of Health recognizes the “problem” of under-consumption of this vaccine but is counting on the extension of its use by town doctors and for 65-75 year olds with co-morbidities to sell stocks. Vaccination against Covid-19 in France continues to skate.

Some general practitioners in the capital will also begin vaccinating people with chronic conditions this week, said Berlin's top health official, Dilek Kalayci.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told public broadcaster ZDF that he expects Germany to be able to administer up to 10 million shots a week by the end of the month. That would be twice as many as Germany has managed to do since vaccination started at the end of December.

According to government figures, around 2.5 million people in Germany or about 3 % of the population, have so far received the full two shots.

The push to vaccinate faster comes as Germany takes further steps out of lockdown this week, with more students returning to school and some businesses and cultural venues reopening, albeit only for those who have booked appointments in advance.

Silvia Firat was among the first to get the vaccine at the Tempelhof site. The 40-year-old Firat, who works in elderly care, said she had initial misgivings about the AstraZeneca vaccine after hearing that some recipients develop strong reactions after receiving the shot.

But when she got an invitation, she chose to go ahead with it, partly to set an example for others.

“I can only recommend doing it," Firat said. “Every injection we get has some side effects, some more, some less.”

U.S. Passes 100 Million Doses; California Eases: Virus Update .
The U.S. passed the milestone of administering more than 100 million Covid-19 shots. California said 13 counties can ease restrictions, including opening restaurants and movie theaters to 25% capacity. Michigan will begin vaccinating all people 16 years and older starting April 5. © Bloomberg A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to a farmworker at a vaccination clinic organized by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department at Christopher Ranch in Gilroy, California, U.S., on Thursday, March 4, 2021. Farmworkers have been one of the hardest hit communities since the start of the pandemic.

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