Germany and France pay the price for their AstraZeneca scaremongering as citizens REFUSE the Oxford jab, causing more delays to their shambolic vaccination drives
- Thousands are deliberately skipping appointments for the Oxford jab in Europe
- Leaders had stoked fears it was ‘quasi-ineffective’, leading to a low uptake
- Germany and France have only vaccinated six per cent of their populations
People in Germany and France are refusing to take the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine after their leaders warned about its efficacy.
Only 150,000 out of 1.5million doses of the jab had been used in Germany on Friday, with many deliberately skipping appointments after learning they would receive the Oxford vaccine.
Politicians across Europe including Emmanuel Macron stoked fears the vaccine is ‘quasi ineffective’ among people aged over 65, despite minimal data to support this and many health authorities approving its use.
Germany and France have vaccinated just six per cent of their populations, while the UK has handed out doses to more than 26 per cent of people
But leaders are now urging people to take the Oxford jab, with the lack of uptake threatening to further derail Europe’s vaccination rollout, which still lags way behind the UK.
Germany and France have vaccinated just six per cent of their populations, while the UK has handed out doses to more than 26 per cent of people.
In Berlin, the Tegel vaccination centres, which only offer the AstraZeneca jabs, say 200 people are keeping the 3,800 daily appointments, The Times reported.
In France, health workers have also been refusing the vaccine after Macron’s comments during the heated row over its effectiveness.
Politicians across Europe including Emmanuel Macron stoked fears the vaccine is ‘quasi ineffective’ among people aged over 65
The European Medicines Agency approved it for all adults but Germany ruled that it should not be given to the over-65s.
It is only being administered to healthcare workers and people under 65 with pre-existing conditions.
There are now growing calls in Europe for the Oxford jab to be given to anyone who wants it so the vials are not wasted.
Karl Lauterbach, an epidemiologist and Social Democrat MP in Germany, said: ‘The vaccination booths are ready, the vaccine is there and so are the vaccination teams.
‘But the vaccine remains unused because not enough people show up for the appointment. This is an absurd and unbearable situation.’
The mayor of Berlin, Michael Muller, has threatened to send people to the back of the vaccine queue if they refuse the Oxford jab in favour of the Pfizer one.
In Berlin, the Tegel vaccination centres (pictured), which only offer the AstraZeneca jabs, say 200 people are keeping the 3,800 daily appointments
He told Tageepiegel: ‘I won’t allow tens of thousands of doses to lie around on our shelves while millions of people across the country are waiting to be immunised.’
Germany’s health minister, Jens Spahn, also backed the jab, saying it was a ‘privilege’ to be offered an injection with the ‘safe and effective’ British vaccine.
Other countries including Spain, Hungary, Sweden and Norway have also suggested they won’t give the jab to anyone over 65.
Scientists admit there is a lack of data definitively proving the vaccine works for elderly people but the data they do have suggests it doesn’t affect them any less than it does younger people, in whom it is proven to prevent Covid-19.
Boris Johnson previously said he was not concerned by the European countries’ move, adding the UK’s world-leading regulator had ‘made it clear’ the shot was ‘very good and efficacious’.
The issue that European countries have taken with the study is that the vaccine was only trialled on 660 people over the age of 65 in results that have been published so far.