SUsone Klaehr, a nursery worker in Berlin, arrived more than two hours early to get hit by AstraZeneca in Tempelhofer Feld on Friday, as she didn’t want to miss her chance. “It’s a good day for me,” said the 53-year-old. “I even played loud music on the way here.”
Germany has resumed use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after halting its deployment alongside many European countries on Monday for fear of a possible link to blood clots.
After lifting the suspension Thursday night, politicians are eager to accelerate Germany’s slow vaccination campaign as it battles what health authorities described on Friday as an exponential increase in threatening Covid-19 cases. overwhelm hospitals. The highly contagious so-called British variant now accounts for around 72% of all cases in Germany.
Some Germans like Klaehr rushed to rebook their appointments and made their way through the snow to the vaccination center at the former Tempelhof airport, famous for being West Berlin’s livelihood during the cold war.
“I work in a nursery with young children and I worry every day,” Klaehr said. “I understand that Germany had to stop the vaccine to see what happened, I just hope it works today. I’m a little nervous, but not specifically because of the blood clot warnings. Mainly I am very happy to get it. “
Most of the people heading downtown shared Klaehr’s enthusiasm. Jonny Neukirchener, 70, a retiree, was originally due to have his date on Thursday. “I’m not nervous about AstraZeneca,” he said. “I am happy to receive the vaccine now because [the outbreak] it’s getting worse in Germany. “
Peter Länger, 69, a retiree living near Tempelhofer Feld, came over for the vaccine as soon as the center reopened. “With the vaccine you have more protection, so I am happy to receive it today,” he said. “It was stressful for me when my appointment was canceled and I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Sophie Schejkal, 21, a medical assistant, was also pleased. “It protects me to live my life again and it is safer for everyone and for the patients I work with,” he said.
Soraya Bliesener, 19, a medical assistant, said she was frustrated when use of the vaccine was stopped. “I am in direct contact with people who might be sick, so I am very happy that they have started vaccinating again,” he said.
Many in Germany fear that the hiatus could have further damaged public confidence in the vaccine. Limited data from early AstraZeneca trials and some misleading reports in the German media had previously led to skepticism about it. The vaccine was described by the German media as a “shelf heater” even before the fear of blood clots.
Some of those who arrived early to receive their AstraZeneca jab expressed some doubts. Kaan Yorulmaz, 30, who works as a guest service manager for Tui and must get vaccinated to work, said he would have preferred another vaccine. “I wish AstraZeneca wasn’t what I was getting,” he said. “I’m early because I’m trying to mentally prepare for that.”
However, Yorulmaz said the suspension had not deterred him from getting vaccinated and he still believed it was important to accept the offer. “I’m not afraid,” he said. “I want to protect myself and try to protect other people, especially the older generation. I will try to do it and hope everything is fine. Then I’ll tell all my friends how it went. “
Dagmar Schwartz, 57, a medical assistant, also said she was nervous. “I’m a little unsure, but I would be interested in any of the vaccines,” she said. “It does not matter which one”.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism