Angela Merkel shamed: Chancellor warned decision on AstraZeneca jab is ‘over-reaction’

Under new rules Germans aged less than 60 will only be allowed the AstraZeneca vaccine after a consultation with their doctor and accepting they are prepared to take a risk. A German study has suggested a possible link between the jab and blood clots near the brain in a tiny number of cases.

British authorities insist the vaccine is safe and effective for all age groups.

Germany’s policy towards the AstraZeneca jab has veered wildly, with it initially being restricted to under-65s.

Earlier this month its use was completely suspended for a number of days whilst authorities investigated the blood clots.

Germany, along with other EU member states, is struggling with a sluggish vaccination programme and has only jabbed 11.3 percent of its population.

By Britain has given at least one vaccine to over 45 percent of its populous.

Wolfgang Munchau, director of Eurointelligence, warned: “Germany was relying on more than 50 million AstraZeneca doses.

“Decision to ban AstraZeneca for the under 60-year olds means that the summer holiday season is now in danger – and with it the CDU’s electoral prospects.”

The Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Angela Merkel’s party, is the dominant faction in the current German government.

READ MORE: Chris Whitty ‘very unhappy’ with Boris Johnson after Covid row

According to The Times out of the 13.5 million vaccines administered in Germany 2.7 million were the AstraZeneca brand.

An estimated 2.2 million people aged under 60 have received their first AstraZeneca jab and were waiting for their second.

Under the new rules this may only be allowed if they provide additional consent to their doctors.

Jens Spahn, the German health minister, admitted the move is “unquestionably a setback”.

It was condemned by Karl Lauterbach, an epidemiologist and MP for the centre-left SDP.

Taking to Twitter he commented: “The vaccine shouldn’t be stopped.

“The benefits continue to dramatically outweigh [the risks].”

Claiming AstraZeneca has failed to fulfil its contracted obligations the EU has threatened to block vaccine exports to the UK.

However according to Mr Munchau this has simply shifted more of the production to Britain.

He tweeted: “Ursula von der Leyen’s loose talk about export bans has so far had only one tangible effect: UK is now doing deals to keep the entire vaccine supply chain in the country.”

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