German vaccine campaign gets boost as 1 million jabbed in one day

Germany’s initially sluggish coronavirus vaccination campaign is picking up speed, as 1 million people were inoculated in one day for the first time, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, general practitioners administered 730,000 jabs and regional vaccination centres another 360,000, Spahn said.

This means more than 1 per cent of the population was inoculated in one day.

More than one fourth of Germans – 25.9 per cent – have now received at least one of two Covid-19 shots, while 7.5 per cent have had the second needed for the optimum level of immunity.

Spahn said this showed how quickly the campaign was now progressing, although it was not sufficient for herd immunity yet.

Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control, also said that a lot still needs to be done. About two-thirds of people older than 80 were vaccinated, and around 30 per cent of those above 70, he said.

The general coronavirus situation, meanwhile, gave “reasons to hope, but not an all-clear signal,” Spahn said.

The steep rise in infections had been halted for now, but numbers were still high and intensive care units in many regions remained full, according to the minister.

“The numbers don’t just need to stagnate, they need to go down,” Spahn said.

On Wednesday, the so-called seven-day incidence rate dropped to 154 infections per 100,000 people, the lowest it has been for about 14 days.

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