Merkel gets vaccinated with AstraZeneca

German Chancellor asks Parliament for more powers to impose stricter restrictions

Sònia Sánchez
2 min
German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Bundestag on Friday morning

BarcelonaIn the midst of the controversy over the cases of thrombi associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has made a gesture of confidence in the British company and has received a dose herself. Through a tweet on the chancellery's official account, Merkel said she was "delighted" to have received the injection. "I thank everyone who is involved in the vaccination campaign and everyone who gets vaccinated. Vaccination is the key to overcoming the pandemic"

In the morning, hours before receiving the vaccine, Merkel had delivered a speech in the German parliament in which she has advocated for tighter containment to deal with the third wave of the covid-19 pandemic in the country. Merkel wants the Bundestag to pass a legislative reform that would give more powers to the federal government to impose tighter restrictions in areas of the country with high infection rates, even if regional governments disagree.

The complex and tense negotiations between Berlin and the leaders of the different Länder have marked each new anti-virus measure imposed in Germany, with long meetings at which Merkel has often had to give in and lower expectations. The chancellor is betting on a tough strategy to stop the virus, with confinements and curfews in regions where more than 100 new cases of the coronavirus are reported in seven days per 100,000 inhabitants.

"This third wave of the pandemic has the country trapped," Merkel has said in her speech in parliament, interrupted a few times by complaints from MPs from the far-right AfD party, which opposes lockdown measures. "ICU staff send us one call for help after another - who are we to ignore their pleas?" she added.

Nevertheless, the chancellor admitted that the movement restriction measures were not the magic solution against the virus and that what was needed above all was to advance in the vaccination campaign.