It is a chance, especially for younger people, to get vaccinated against the coronavirus faster than previously thought: On Thursday, the federal and state health ministers decided to finally lift the prioritization of risk groups at AstraZeneca. Anyone who wants can therefore now be vaccinated in a practice. In addition, doctors are given greater flexibility because the interval between the first and second vaccination at AstraZeneca should no longer be a fixed twelve weeks, but can be between four and 12 weeks.
According to information from NewsABC.net, the decision in the conference of health ministers was controversial. This is confirmed by the confidential voting minutes of the meeting that NewsABC.net has: While most decisions have been made unanimously in the past, there was already a dissenting vote on the question of cancellation – in this case from Bremen.
The discussion about the abolition of the previous 12-week interval was even more controversial. The reason: Although according to the approval, the interval between the first and second vaccination should be just under a month, the agent only develops its maximum effect after a twelve-week interval, as studies have shown. For this reason, too, the federal and state governments extended the period to this. Another reason is that just a few weeks ago many more people were able to receive a primary vaccination in this way than was possible up to now.
According to information from NewsABC.net, several countries criticized the fact that the flexibility for doctors at the expense of the optimal protective effect. In fact, doctors in the practices had recently reduced the distance on their own initiative because they wanted to enable as many people as possible to have the second vaccination before the summer vacation.
According to the decision, the critical countries ultimately did not vote against the flexibilisation, but abstained – a politically quite common procedure in order not to prevent decisions, but nevertheless to document its opposing view. Hamburg, Bremen, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Berlin, Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt are named.