After more than two months of low infection rates, the downtrend in Europe was broken last week. In addition to easing restrictions, the more contagious delta variant – which now dominates the spread in many countries – is behind the development, According to the World Health Organization.
This situation is prompting Germany to update its recommendations on vaccination. The country’s vaccine commission, Stiko, announced Friday that people who received their first dose of Astra Zeneca will now get the mRNA vaccine from Moderna or Pfizer in the second round.
According to preliminary studies, approved vaccines also protect against delta variant when people receive both injections. However, in a single dose, the protection is somewhat lower, causing Stiko to urge the Germans to take the second dose as soon as they have the opportunity.
On the other hand, protection is better when doses from different vaccine manufacturers are combined, Stiko writes of the new advice in a press release. The recommendation applies to all ages and means that a dose of mRNA is given at least four weeks after the first injection.
Among other things, he has Chancellor Angela Merkel was vaccinated under the new councils. In April, the 66-year-old received his first dose, and then of Astra Zeneca. On June 22, she received her second dose, this time from Moderna.
Angela Merkel had previously warned about the spread of the delta type in Europe, and therefore called on EU countries to speed up vaccination.
– We need to continue to be vigilant. The chancellor said the newly discovered variables, especially the delta variable, are a warning for us to continue to be vigilant. EU meeting at the end of June.
Despite the fact that the development of the spread of infection seemed positive at that time, Angela Merkel warned that both Germany and Europe in general were still on “thin ice”.
3,736,969 Germans have contracted the coronavirus during the pandemic. 91,014 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins University figures. In total, nearly 75 million doses of vaccine have been distributed in the country and 64 percent of the population has now received their first injection. 42 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to the European infection control agency ECDC.