“Vaccinating fast is the order of the day,” Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, told citizens in Bavaria during a videoconference on Thursday, stressing that all three vaccines in use in Germany had been approved by the European Medicines Agency and were trustworthy.
“I personally have little sympathy for the reluctance to use one vaccine or another,” he said. “This is a first-world problem, certainly for those who are still waiting for their first vaccination and even more so for people in countries who might not even have the prospect of receiving a first inoculation this year.”
President Emmanuel Macron of France, who had previously dismissed the AstraZeneca vaccine as questionably effective for older age groups, told reporters on Thursday that he would take it himself, responding to reports of the shot facing skepticism in several parts of Europe.
The problem runs deeper than just AstraZeneca. According to a survey by the Bertelsmann Foundation, a third of Germans say they would not get vaccinated, regardless of who made the shot. In addition to AstraZeneca, Germany is also administering the vaccine made by Moderna, an American company, without problems or resistance. The vaccine has an overall efficacy of 94.5 percent.