Day 432

For a while, covid vaccination was throttled by the amount of vaccine. Now there’s still a shortage of the mRNA vaccines that are more expensive. The approval of the vaccine developed by Oxford/AstraZeneca was detracted for a while, because of some deadly thrombosis cases. Now it’s approved again, but not recommend for people under 60. It got a lot of media attention, so people are afraid of it. But going by the numbers, the AZ vaccine really isn’t bad. The risk to get covid in Germany right now is much, much higher than getting blood cloths in your brain from taking AstraZeneca vaccine. Even better, now it’s understood why the thrombosis can occur, doctors can treat it before it’s deadly. As far as I know nobody has died in Germany after the treatment of these cases has changed.

Still, doctors typically aren’t eager to administer it to people under 60. It’s difficult to find practices that are vaccinating people below 60. Those that I found either say they don’t want to be contacted because they’re overwhelmed by requests. Or they don’t respond to the requests I make to be put on their standby lists. In other contexts I would be extremely annoyed by this unorganized inefficient mess, but I don’t really mind, because as far as I can tell, doctors are vaccinating at top speed and no vaccine goes to waste. A little effort from citizens trying to get ahead of others isn’t a great loss in relation to what’s at stake.

Still weird though. It took quite some effort to find reliable information on whether or not it’s a good idea to get AstraZeneca. Turns out it’s not risky, but that it’s efficacy is nearly as good as the mRNA vaccines. But then still, you’re supposed to wait 3 months for the booster shot after which you only have the highest protection and wouldn’t it be better to wait a few months and then get the even higher protection from a better vaccine (and not risk the mild side effects—about half the people I know report being sick for 1-4 days after getting the AZ shot). It’s also difficult to find out if Germany allows those primed with AZ to get an mRNA booster shot (I think so because the Standing Committee on Vaccination at the Robert Koch Institute does recommend it). And if one is then better protected or worse than with a homologous vaccination (probably better, but no big studies have been conducted on this so far).

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