According to German authorities, people who have received a first dose of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccination should switch to a different type of vaccine for their second shot.

On Friday, July 2, the German authorities encouraged people to get their second shot from either Pfizer or Moderna. The goal is to boost the speed and effectiveness of vaccinations as the more contagious Delta form spreads.

Health Minister Jens Spahn met with colleagues from Germany’s 16 states after the country’s standing vaccination committee presented a draft recommendation.

According to the committee, the second dose should be given four weeks or more after the first AstraZeneca shot. That is much shorter than the nine weeks the committee recommends between two AstraZeneca dosages.

According to the committee’s statement, the immunological response from a combination of AstraZeneca and an mRNA vaccination was “significantly superior” to that from two doses of AstraZeneca.

After receiving the first jab of AstraZeneca, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is 66, recently received a second shot of Moderna’s vaccine.

Her spokesman explained that it was done to encourage people not to be afraid if various vaccine combinations are recommended.

By the end of July, Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn expects the extremely contagious Delta type, initially discovered in India, to account for approximately 80% of cases. Up to now, over 55% of Germany’s population has received at least one dose.

Researchers have concluded that combining vaccinations is likely safe and beneficial, but further research is needed.

In April, German authorities ruled that those under the age of 60 who had previously received an AstraZeneca vaccination should take a second dose of an mRNA vaccine.

Authorities decided after the AstraZeneca vaccination was associated with blood clots in children and teenagers. Germany advises those under the age of 60 to consult a doctor before taking it.

Spahn said on Friday that enough mRNA vaccine is available to apply the new recommendation immediately and that it “makes the AstraZeneca vaccine more attractive.”

The head of STIKO told ministers that the combination of AstraZeneca and BioNTech “protects as least as well as BioNTech-BioNTech as a combination, in some cases even better.”

However, he added that two AstraZeneca dosages provide adequate protection. BioNTech-Pfizer has been the core of Germany’s campaign regarding doses delivered, with AstraZeneca a distant second.