People under the age of 60 who have been vaccinated with a first Astra-Zeneca dose should switch to a different preparation for the second vaccination. This was unanimously agreed to by the federal and state health ministers on Tuesday. "The solution that has now been found offers good protection for people," said the chairman of the Conference of Health Ministers, Bavaria's head of department Klaus Holetschek, to the dpa news agency in Munich on Tuesday evening.
The ministers thus follow a recommendation of the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) from the beginning of April. During the consultations, in which Stiko head Thomas Mertens had also participated, it had become clear that the second vaccination by an mRNA vaccine, that is, the preparation of Biontech /Pfizer or Moderna , is a good basis to protect people effectively, Holetschek said. "Especially in the third wave."
Specifically, the resolution recommends a second vaccination for people under 60 years of age twelve weeks after the initial vaccination. "Appointments for second vaccination that have already been made can also take place on a transitional basis from the ninth week after the first vaccination," it adds. Only in individual cases and after an individual risk analysis with a doctor, Astra-Zeneca could also be used for the second vaccination. Last week, the health ministers had still postponed the decision on the change of vaccines.
The background to the recommendation is suspected to be political, officially blaming suspected cases of cerebral vein thrombosis following vaccination with Astra-Zeneca. Experts suspect that the very low risk mainly affects younger people. The federal and state governments had therefore recently decided to allow the Astra-Zeneca drug to be administered only to people over 60 - despite previously only allowing it to be administered to those over 60. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, however, around 2.2 million citizens under the age of 60 had already received an initial vaccination with Astra-Zeneca in recent weeks.
On Tuesday, U.S. pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson said it is delaying the launch of its vaccine in Europe because it, too, has received reports of sinus vein thrombosis.
Photo by JC Gellidon