Angela Merkel receives AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Angela Merkel receives AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Angela Merkel receives AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Two weeks after Germany changed its guidance on the AstraZeneca vaccine to recommend it for people aged 60 and over only, Angela Merkel has received her first dose.

German Chancellor opts for AstraZeneca

The 66-year-old chancellor received her first dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 last Friday at a vaccination centre in the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin. Unlike many other world leaders, Merkel did not make a great fuss about her vaccination appointment, simply posting an image of her vaccination certificate on Twitter via her spokesperson, Steffan Seibert. 

“I am delighted to have received my first vaccination today with AstraZeneca,” she said. “I thank everyone who is involved in the vaccination campaign - and everyone who gets vaccinated. Vaccination is the key to overcoming the pandemic.” 

Angela Merkel stuck firmly to Germany’s vaccine priority list

In recent weeks, amid all of the controversy and confusion surrounding the AstraZeneca vaccine and its suspected links to blood clots, Merkel has been asked on several occasions when she would be getting vaccinated, and whether she would willingly accept AstraZeneca. She always gave the same response: “When it’s my turn, I’ll get vaccinated, including with AstraZeneca.” 

In nodding to Germany’s strict vaccine priority list, Merkel demonstrated awareness of how contentious the issue of “fair distribution” is. At the end of last year, outrage was sparked when a number of local politicians and others were accused of “jumping the queue” to have their vaccines ahead of schedule. The mayor of Halle in Saxony-Anhalt, Bernd Wiegand, was suspended from office after receiving his vaccination out of line. 

Earlier this month, however, the German capital, where Merkel is resident, opened vaccinations to all people over the age of 60, meaning Merkel’s turn had arrived. Her decision to be vaccinated with the British-Swedish shot is a clear signal that she continues to back the vaccine, despite uncertainties. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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