The AstraZeneca vaccine can now also be used for the elderly
Photo: Joerg Boethling / imago images
The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) at the Robert Koch Institute now recommends the AstraZeneca vaccine for people older than 65 years.
The Ministry of Health confirmed the change in a statement.
The "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" (FAZ) had previously reported on it.
A corresponding statement is ready, it says in the newspaper report.
After the voting deadline within the Stiko on Thursday afternoon, the specialist societies and the federal states should be informed.
According to the Ministry of Health, Stiko continues to recommend vaccinating the second dose after three months - and not after six weeks, as previously recommended.
The decision should lead to the fact that the Corona Vaccination Ordinance of the Federal Ministry of Health will also be changed.
Vaccination for the elderly could then begin soon.
The corona vaccine from the British-Swedish manufacturer AstraZeneca was previously only intended for people between 18 and 65 years of age in Germany because important data was missing for the age group 65 and over.
However, the manufacturer had defended itself against allegations that its vaccine should not be effective enough for the elderly.
According to the FAZ, however, there are now new studies that demonstrate a high level of effectiveness and safety for seniors too.
The AstraZeneca vaccine is in a difficult position in Germany. Many younger people who could actually be vaccinated with the product have concerns about reports of side effects and a reduced effectiveness compared to other vaccines.
Acceptance was widespread, with more than a million doses of the vaccine lying around unused - albeit with regional differences.
At the beginning of the week, Stiko boss Thomas Mertens assured that the AstraZeneca vaccine was "very good" and that it was "now even better in assessing it thanks to new data.
He already indicated that the intervals between the two vaccine doses could increase.
Studies from England and Scotland, where the vaccine is already being used extensively in the elderly, had shown that it was highly effective even after the first dose.
Accordingly, the Covid-19-related hospital stays among those over 80 years of age had already decreased by around 80 percent after the first vaccination.
In Scotland it was 94 percent.
Some countries therefore have a strategy of not vaccinating the second dose after six weeks, but only after three months.
This is particularly good news in times of vaccine shortages, because many nations have the strategy of initially providing as many people as possible with the first vaccination.
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