Germany, like many EU member states, had struggled to roll out its Covid vaccination programme. Reporting from Berlin, Channel 4 News presenter Matt Frei has said German authorities are reluctant to allow cameras into test centres where the Oxford/Astrazenca vaccine is being administered. He said that while Germany has become the latest to approve the Oxford vaccine for people over 65s, public scepticism is further hampering efforts and many doses remain unused.
Mr Frei told Channel 4 News: “As we found out they are extremely reluctant to allow the cameras into AstraZeneca vaccine centres.
“Because so many of the vials are sitting around and still unused.”
The Channel 4 News segment broadcast footage of a German policeman receiving the oxford vaccine.
Mr Frei said: “What you are seeing now is a very rare image of a young policeman getting the Astrazenca vaccine.”
“We ourselves were banned from filming it,” he added.
Mr Frei continued: “There is a lot of politics here with a kind of chain reaction of bad stuff.
“It started off with a lack of supply of AstraZeneca as you know a few months ago.
“It has now ended with a lock of confidence in AstraZeneca and the government really has its works cut out.”
The BBC’s Nick Robinson asked: “How big a problem is it in Germany that people are reluctant to use the AstraZeneca vaccine?”
Professor Mertens said: “Yes, it is a problem, there is no doubt.
“At the moment we have 1.4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in-store and only about 240,000 doses have been given to the people, that is definitely a problem at the moment.”
He added: “We are trying to convince people to accept that vaccine and build up the trust for the vaccine within the population.