President Frank-Walter Steinmeier became the first high-profile German official to receive a dose of the AstraZeneca jab on Thursday, as politicians in the country joined an effort to shore up confidence in the troubled Anglo-Swedish vaccine.
Steinmeier, who is 65, received his shot at Berlin’s military hospital under new guidelines that restrict the vaccine’s use for those below 60 but relaxes prioritisation rules for those above, APA reports citing Guardian.
Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the decision on Tuesday this week after Germany’s vaccine regulator reported 31 cases where people who had received the AstraZeneca jab developed cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, a rare blood-clotting disorder.
Gregor Gysi, an influential figure in the leftwing party Die Linke and the former leader of the opposition in the Bundestag, also shared a picture of himself receiving the Oxford-developed vaccine.
The health minister, Jens Spahn, had appealed to politicians over 60 to show their faith in AstraZeneca’s product.
General practitioners are being integrated in the vaccination roll-out from today, administering the BioNTech vaccine and, from 18 April, the AstraZeneca jab too.