Germany sends off millions of AZ jabs to ‘poorest nations’ despite rejecting it themselves

Germany: Protesters clash with police in Berlin

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Jens Spahn, Germany’s Federal Minister of Health, announced on August 4 all outstanding deliveries from AstraZeneca will go straight to the international vaccination initiative Covax. Germany had previously launched attacks at AstraZeneca, which led doctors to complain over the number of doses left unused due to the scepticism over the jab.

Mr Spahn said on Wednesday 1.3 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses will be delivered to Covax.

He said: “It is in our very own national interest to vaccinate the world.

“Because this pandemic is only really over when the virus is under global control.

“For the first time, we will now also deliver vaccine doses from our contracts to Covax.”

Germany will also donate its doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines for the time being.

In July, Mr Spahn shared more than half the population of Germany is now fully vaccinated, but urged people to keep getting the jab amid fears of a slow uptake.

He said on Twitter: 41.8 million Germans now have full protection, while 61.1 percent have received at least one shot.

“The more people who get vaccinated the safer we will be in autumn and winter.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel also warned of a “clear and worrying dynamic” in the infection rates.

She added: “Every vaccination is a small step towards a return to normality.”

Due to the slowing uptake, Bundestag President Wolfgang Schauble said: “I cannot understand the lack of willingness to get vaccinated, that makes me extremely sad.

“And now family doctors are desperate because vaccination doses are left over en masse.

“We must all avoid a new lockdown together!

“That would be devastating for society, the economy and all other areas of life.”

Germany’s slow vaccination rate comes despite the country receiving the highest number of batches with 106,013,669 doses from manufacturers.

The EU hammered AstraZeneca earlier in the year with some member states, including Germany, halting the rollout of the vaccine in March.

It comes as a study published in The Lancet found the AstraZeneca vaccine carried the same risk of rare blood clotting as the Pfizer drug.

For every million people who received a first shot, there were 8.1 reports of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome in the study which looked at the 49.23 million people who received the vaccine the EU, European Economic Area, and the UK by the end of April.

After the second dose, there were 2.3 cases out of every million people that reported blood clotting issues.

At the end of January, just hours before the European Medicines Agency approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for all adults in the EU, French President Emmanuel Macron claimed the jab was “quasi-ineffective” for the elderly groups most in need of protection.

He claimed “it doesn’t work the way we were expecting it to”, before later backtracking.

At the time the German Government, via a leak to financial newspaper Handelsblatt, tried to portray the vaccine as just six per cent effective for those aged over 65.

Ms Merkel publicly announced she would not take it as it was not approved for her age group, before later having her first vaccine dose from AstraZeneca.

Additional reporting from Monika Pallenberg

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