GB News: Dan Wootton slams criticism to AstraZeneca
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Bavaria returned the life-saving jabs to the federal government in Berlin after failing to administer them as part of their rollout. The Oxford-developed vaccine has been subjected to numerous political attacks and questions over its safety and efficacy in the midst of a row over shipments. Brussels accused the Anglo-Swedish drugs giant behind the jab of breaching its contract by failing to deliver enough doses to EU member states.
And many governments have restricted the use of AstraZeneca because of health concerns it behind a number of rare blood clots in people that have received it.
In March, Germany decided to suspend the routine use of the jab for people under the age of 60.
As a result, the rollout of AstraZeneca has ground to a virtual halt in the country’s 16 states.
Bavaria has since returned 738,350 doses of coronavirus vaccine to the federal government.
Of these, 685,100 were made by AstraZeneca and 52,250 doses were the US-made Johnson and Johnson shot.
Nationwide around 2.7 million Covid jabs were returned from distribution hubs to Berlin.
Doses have been sent back unused by 15 of the 16 federal states of Germany – with only Saarland not reporting unneeded doses.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government now plans to donate the unused vaccine to other countries that need help in bolstering their rollouts.
She has vowed to donate at least 30 million doses to developing and low-income countries by the end of the year.
A first batch of jabs is now expected to be shipped to five different countries via the Covax international aid scheme.
Like other EU nations, Germany suffered an initially sluggish start to its vaccine rollout due to lack of supplies across the bloc.
Berlin, however, successfully managed to ramp up its capacity and at one point was administering around one million jabs a day.
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But ministers have since had to draw up plans to incentivise more people to get vaccinated.
Widespread measures to curb the spread of Covid are expected to remain in place to tackle the growing under of infections in the country.
The most hardline rules are expected to apply to people who are not vaccinated.
They will be expected to take tests as a condition for being able to attend various events, from indoor gatherings to restaurant visits.
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As a result, ministers are pondering withdrawing free rapid testing, which has been widely available for months and used by Germans to access venues such as football stadiums and theatres.
Currently only 55 percent of Germans are fully vaccinated against coronavirus – including 80 percent of people older than 60.
Some 62.5 percent have received just one dose of a Covid jab.
In addition to scrapping free testing, Berlin is also considering different options to convince teenagers to come out and get a vaccine.
Schemes already set up across the country include free hotdogs and football tickets being given to people attending mass vaccination centres.
Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg
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