Germany alters vaccine mix to better tackle Delta variant

FILE PHOTO: Cabins at a vaccination centre, temporarily set up in the Erika-Hess ice stadium to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic are seen in Berlin, Germany, January 14, 2021. Kay Nietfeld/Pool via REUTERS

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Health Minister Jens Spahn announced measures on Friday to boost the effectiveness of the country’s vaccination programme against an expected wave of the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is more infectious.

Spahn told reporters that it would in future be possible to combine a first shot of the AstraZeneca vaccine with a second shot of an mRNA vaccine like those from BioNTech/Pfizer or Moderna.

He said that the addition of the mRNA shot provided more protection against the Delta variant, which is endemic in Britain and is expected to become so in Germany this month, than two shots of AstraZeneca’s shot.

Germany has enough shots available of all vaccines to be able to do this, as well as to provide booster shots to those who wanted them in the autumn, he added.

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