Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday she was ready to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca’s coronavirus jab if she is offered it, in a bid to shore up confidence in the jab.

“Yes I would take the AstraZeneca vaccine,” Merkel told a news conference, adding she “would like to wait until it’s my turn but I would in any case”.

Merkel’s firm endorsement of the vaccine came after its use was suspended for several days this week by major European countries, including Germany, over fears it may cause blood clots.

Europe’s medicines regulator EMA on Thursday cleared it for use after a review of the clotting cases, saying the vaccine was “safe and effective”.

But questions surrounding the jab jointly developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford were revived when France on Friday recommended it should be given only to people aged 55 and over because of the clotting risks.

Germany on Friday resumed use of the Anglo-Swedish company’s jabs and politicians were at pains to assure the population of the vaccine’s safety.

Winfried Kretschmann, state premier of Baden-Wuerttemberg, had an AstraZeneca jab live on television.

“Have trust, get vaccinated,” he said in an appeal to the population.

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