Tag Archives: Angela Merkel

Germany suspends use of AstraZeneca vaccine for people under 60

Newsroom24x7 Network

Healthcare and frontline workers got priority in the first phase and have recived shots of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, known as Covishield in India. Now people over 60 and those who are between 45 and 59 but have other illnesses are getting covered by this vaccine.

India launched the first phase of its vaccine drive against COVID-19, the largest such effort in the world, in early January. The second phase of vaccination targeting senior citizens began on March 1.

People in India are getting vaccinated with Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, known as Covishield and India’s homegrown government backed Covaxin, which was given emergency approval earlier this year.

What comes as a matter of serious concern for people in India is the latest news that Germany has taken a U-turn from its policy to only give the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab to younger people and decided to suspend the use of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in Germany from Wednesday for those under the age of 60. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn made this announcement late Tuesday on the advice of the Federal Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) (Merkel and Spahn: No more Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs for under 60s)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at her press conference “We have to be able to trust the vaccines.” She went on to assert that for citizens’ trust it is necessary to ensure that every case is investigated.

Focusing on data from the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, which pointed to 31 suspected cases of blood clots in the brain after vaccination with the jab in the 20 to 63 age group and reports of abnormally low platelets, that help blood clot, in 19 cases, and the death of 9 people, Merkel observed, these were “findings that we cannot ignore”.

This week, France and Italy also have blocked AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccines.

Brushing aside the concern in India vis-a-vis AstraZenca/Covishield following the latest decision by Germany, France and Italy, a keen observer told Newsroom24x7: “One is not sure if its Scientific or pure politics between UK-EU-USA, and AstraZeneca. It is important to note that on the other hand EU has asked AstraZeneca to supply more vaccines to them first and export later.”

On being contacted, another person remarked, “Largest vaccination with AstraZenaca has been given in India and no such complaint is there. it is pure European politics”.

Last week on March 25, AstraZeneca in a statement.announced the following:

  • 76% vaccine efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19
  • 100% efficacy against severe or critical disease and hospitalisation
  • 85% efficacy against symptomatic COVID-19 in participants aged 65

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca, said: “The primary analysis is consistent with our previously released interim analysis, and confirms that our COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in adults, including those aged 65 years and over. We look forward to filing our regulatory submission for Emergency Use Authorization in the US and preparing for the rollout of millions of doses across America.”

We look forward to high quality free trade agreement with New Zealand – Merkel

Newsroom24x7 Desk

angela merkel in new zealandGermany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her joint press release with New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key said that Germany looks toward intensification of mutual relations between the two countries. This came in as a follow up of her visit to in November last year, and Merkel stood determined to take the bilateral ties a step ahead. Reaffirming that this partnership was defined by shared values, vibrant political, economic, scientific and cultural engagement, strong people to people links and close cooperation on a range of international issues, Merkel welcomed the increased tempo of visits by senior political figures in both directions, as well as productive engagement on a wide range of global issues.

Chancellor said Germany looked forward to a continuing pattern of regular political level visits and dialogue with New Zealand and hoped this engagement would be supplemented from 2016 with the inaugural visit of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Fellow for Germany, to New Zealand. Extending forward the consistentcy in staying put with the agreement in 2014, Merkel stated that there had been an increasing breadth of discussion between the two governments. She said, ‘We have directed senior officials to continue to take regular opportunities to share perspectives and experiences on issues of mutual interest, in particular including international and regional political, economic and security matters. We appreciated the growing trade and investment ties between our countries. We welcomed the recent successful conclusion of negotiations between New Zealand and the European Union for the Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation, which provides a formal structure for relations between New Zealand and the European Union.’

On EU’s stance pertaining to New Zealand, Merkel said, ‘We also warmly welcomed the announcement that the EU and New Zealand will start the process for negotiations to achieve swiftly a deep and comprehensive high-quality Free Trade Agreement, and we look forward to this taking place as soon as possible.’ Discussions between the two leaders ranged across the board of sectors, and Merkel spoke about this thus — Science and innovation engagement has gathered further momentum over the last year. Collaboration in medical robotics between the University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute and the German Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA has now achieved the status of an ICON project; and further joint scientific endeavour is under way, notably in agricultural sciences.
Yesterday, we both took part in the High-Level Opening Meeting of the 21st Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris at the invitation of French President Francois Hollande. Both countries strongly support the adoption of an ambitious, durable, comprehensive and legally binding agreement to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2°C above pre industrial levels and will work towards a successful outcome of the Conference. We also joined 37 other countries to support a Communiqué calling on the international community to eliminate inefficient fossil-fuel subsidies as a major contribution to climate change mitigation.

A cohesively strong partnership is what Merkel termed the bilateral ties with New Zealand, saying — shared values had reinforced mutual interest in close engagement on significant international developments, including on Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, international refugee and migration issues and relations with countries in Asia. We agreed on the importance of promoting the resolution of maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law. We are committed to fully utilise the potential of the Working Holiday Programme. Our common interest in promoting peace and international security, as well as higher education, will be given tangible recognition through a New Zealand Prime Minister’s Peace and Security Scholarship for a German student to undertake Master’s study in New Zealand.

Germany probes new case of US spying

Newsroom24x7 Desk

germany mapGermany : German authorities have launched a probe into allegations of a new case of suspected spying linked to the US National Security Agency, as revealed to German media in a newsweekly report, which authenticates the spying activities. The report comes after the conclusion of a spying allegation – an investigation into alleged US snooping on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone, the allegation which could not result in substantial evidence and was dropped in June due to lack of proof.

German-US relations were badly strained after fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden revealed mass US surveillance around the world in 2013. The latest probe by Germany’s federal prosecutors targets persons unknown for ‘espionage activities.’ It centers on the personal laptop of a department chief in the chancellery onto which a spying virus known as ‘Regin’ as per the reports. The ‘Trojan horse’ type virus, which was discovered on the laptop last year, enabled surveillance of all data entered onto a computer and transferred it to whoever had the software installed. The report highlighted, there was no doubt that Regin could be linked to the NSA or Britain’s GCHQ eavesdropping agency, which was revealed in Snowden’s documents to have worked closely with its US equivalent, including in the interception of German phone calls and emails.

While Snowden alleged US spying on many European governments, his disclosures triggered particular anger in Germany where bitterness lingered over mass state spying on citizens by the Stasi secret police in former communist East Germany where Merkel grew up. Spying however, had not always been one sided, as Spy data had past record from both sides, in the likes of spy history, as in – Germany spied on USA and France until late 2013, Activists love-bombed NSA with ‘quite spying’ drone, and Merkel’s office hid knowledge of probe.

PM Modi hopeful of strengthening India-Germany ties, as Chancellor Merkel comes calling

Newsroom24x7 Desk

merkel visits indiaNew Delhi : A follow through of earlier meeting between two top leaders of India and Germany is witnessing the next level as German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in India on a two-day visit to talk business and bilateral beneficiary discussions. Termed as a maiden visit in Modi government’s rule, Chancellor Merkel is expected to extend a commitment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s investement expectations, which had featured as a central point when both leaders met earlier in April during PM Modi’s visit to Germany.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in India to take forward the economic ties between the two countries in its third round of Inter Government Consultations on a gamut of issues in back to back bilateral meetings spread over two cities in a visit lasting less than two days. It is expected that the discussion basket would spread on a variety of issues ranging from security to defence. The central focus is however expected on the lines of boosting trade ties and giving German wings to Modi’s Make in India initiative.

Merkel’s visit got a text welcome yesterday from PM Modi’s twitter counter, when Modi, in his digitally connected style, extended warm greetings to the Chancellor and hoped for a fruitful talk session during the leader’s visit to India. Modi wrote – Namaste Chancellor Merkel! Warm welcome to you & the delegation. I look forward to fruitful discussions & strengthening India-Germany ties.

Merkel arrived in New Delhi on Sunday. Her day began today with a ceremonial welcome extended to her at Rashtraparti Bhavan. An overwhelmed Chancellor enthusiastically said – Germany fully intends to support the ambitious program that PM Modi has outlined for the development of this nation. We will co-operate on areas such as economy, agriculture, internal security, defence matters and financial relations.

PM Modi and Chancellor Merkel are scheduled to have an exclusive meeting before proceeding to formal delegation-level talks. During her visit, Ms Merkel will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj today before heading to Bangalore for a business conference.

Merkel’s discussion agenda is expected to center around concerns of German industries in proceeding with planned investments in India, while speaking with PM Modi. . Both leaders are also likely to exchange views on regional and global issues including climate change. Germany being India’s most important trading partner in Europe, the country expects PM Modi and Ms Merkel to sit together and strategize upon boosting two-way trade. As far as Germany is concerned, this largest European economy has many country partner with which it deals in business partnerships and India last year ranked just 25th on the list of countries with which it does business. Data update reveals that the two nations exchanged nearly 16 billion euros ($17.9 billion) in trade in 2014 — mostly chemicals, machine tools, electrical goods and textiles — but the figure has declined in the past three years.