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In Big Shift, Germany To Give AstraZeneca Shots To Over 65s

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A package of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is shown in the state of Brandenburg where the first coronavirus vaccinations are given in doctors' surgeries, in Senftenberg, Germany, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool via AP)

(AP) — Germany’s health minister says the country’s independent vaccine committee has formally approved giving the AstraZeneca shot to people age 65 and over.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday the decision was “good news for older people who are waiting for a vaccination. They will get vaccinated faster.” The vaccine made by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca is one of three authorized for use in the 27-nation European Union. But several countries, including Germany, initially restricted it to people aged under 65.

The German panel also advised waiting 12 weeks between administering the first and second AstraZeneca shots, as studies show this increases its effectiveness. Germany and other EU nations are facing a third surge of the virus driven by variants.

 

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