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Germany Ramps Up Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine

Αssociated Press

AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

BERLIN — Germany is looking to ramp up the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine after authorities last week gave the green light for it to be administered to people 65 and over.

Hundreds of thousands of doses have been gathering dust in recent weeks due to the restrictions on who could get the vaccine and misgivings among some who were eligible. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Germany has received 2.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca shot so far but administered just 721,000.

Berlin is opening a sixth vaccine center Monday at the former Tempelhof airport in the center of the city that will administer only the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Germany’s vaccine campaign has lagged behind Britain and the United States. By Sunday, Germany had given out 5.2 million vaccine doses, with 2.5 million people or about 3 % of the population fully vaccinated.

Finance Minister Olaf Scholz told public broadcaster ZDF that he expects Germany to be able to administer up to 10 million shots a week by the end of the month.