BERLIN, Germany: In a change of policy, Germany has announced it will begin vaccinating those over 65 years-old, while recommending waiting 12 weeks before receiving second doses, officials said Thursday.
A number of European countries, including Germany, had only allowed those under 65 years old to receive the vaccination, claiming the lack of data made it uncertain how effective the vaccination was on senior citizens.
However, new data on the vaccine's effectiveness, along with pressure to speed up the slow-moving European vaccination programs, caused the Germans to reverse their policy.
Calling the decision, "good news for older people who are waiting for a vaccination," German Health Minister Jens Spahn said those over 65 will now be vaccinated more quickly.
The British and Germans believe waiting 12 weeks between the first and second dose increases the vaccine's effectiveness.
Media has reported that German authorities have stockpiled some 2 million doses that have not been administered to the public.
Earlier this week, France, Belgium and Italy increased access to the vaccination.
(File photo. Credit Anna Auza | Unsplash)