Germany breaks European record by giving a million Covid jabs in a day

Germany gave the coronavirus vaccine to 1.1 million people in a day, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday, a new daily record for a European country in a massive ramp up of the inoculation campaign.

Germany breaks European record by giving a million Covid jabs in a day
People at a vaccination centre in Berlin. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Michael Kappeler

With 1.116 million jabs into the arms of Germans on Wednesday, Europe’s biggest economy for the first time vaccinated more than one percent of its population in 24 hours, Spahn said.

“That shows how much speed we’ve gained,” he said of the accelerated inoculation pace after a stuttering start of the campaign late last year.

Only China, India and the United States have so far been able to top that daily inoculation rate.

READ ALSO: These are the Berlin GPs vaccinating non-registered patients

In Europe, Britain had previously held the highest number of jabs in 24 hours – with 874,000 doses given on March 20th.

In all, 21.6 million people or 25.9 percent of the population in Germany have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

It means around every fourth person in the country has received at least one jab.

The graph below on the vaccination dashboard shows how the number of jabs shot up on Wednesday.

The number of first doses of Covid vaccines reported yesterday (970,295) was 52 percent above the previous week’s level. And for the second doses (118,657) the increase is 68 percent compared to last week.

Doctors playing big role in campaign

Of the injections carried out on Wednesday, 729,025 alone were performed by GPs.

Since family doctors were given the green light to carry out vaccinations after Easter, the daily number of jabs has increased massively.

Four states – Berlin, Bavaria, Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania – have also dropped the strict priority list for the AstraZeneca vaccine, making it available to all adults after a doctor consultation.

READ ALSO: Can I get the AstraZeneca vaccine in Germany if I’m not on the priority list?

Germans took to social media to talk about the achievement or “Impfrekord” (vaccination record).

Sebastian Dullien, professor for International Economics at HTW Berlin University of Applied Sciences, said Germany was well on its way to achieving what he and a colleague had predicated – vaccinating all over 18s by July 31st.

Germany’s campaign had got off to a sluggish start at the end of December 2020 which was put down to EU-wide supply issues for vaccines, as well as bureaucratic hurdles – perhaps caused by different state procedures – and the inflexible vaccination prioritisation list.

However, the rate of vaccinations has picked up in the last few weeks, giving hope of a momentum that will continue as the country is still battling the third wave.

READ ALSO: Bavaria plans vaccines in supermarkets, schools and pharmacies

Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed earlier this week that Germany plans to lift the priority list in June “at the latest” so every adult will be able to make an appointment then. The aim is to give everyone a first dose by September 21st.

In the same meeting on Monday, Merkel said the German government will put forward a decree to remove some Covid restrictions for fully vaccinated people in Germany.

However, this week some states have already started easing rules for those who have been inoculated.

Member comments

  1. Delighted that Germany has so significantly upgraded its impf rate. Not before time, but now really moving. Use of GPs key. In UK they are really motivated and involve local volunteers. Ironic that GB mentioned for the first time, but delighted with German progress. Too many of my aged German relations have been waiting too long and are at risk.

    The only way we win is if the world wins.

  2. This is a fantastic acheivement, but we cant overlook how little are done on the the weekends. The difference between extreemes is about 800K! Germany has really picked up the pace, but must also smooth the curve. I hope to see this once Germany starts recieving a more steady supply.

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What to know about getting a fourth Covid vaccination in Germany

With Covid cases rising, many people in Germany are wondering if they should get a fourth Covid jab - or second booster. Here's what you should keep in mind.

What to know about getting a fourth Covid vaccination in Germany

German states have started giving out new Covid vaccines that are specially adapted to the Omicron variant.

Though the Omicron variant is believed to cause milder courses of illness than earlier variants like Delta, it’s known for being highly transmissible and is often able to evade the body’s immune responses. 

In September, three Omicron vaccines received EU-wide approval: two vaccines from BioNTech and Moderna adapted to the BA.1 sub-variant, and another Omicron booster from BioNTech to protect against the dominant BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants. 

Who should get the fourth Covid shot (second booster)?

People who belong to ‘at risk’ groups should think about getting a booster shot this autumn.

The official recommendation from the Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO) stipulates that people over the age of 60 should get a further booster vaccination.

In addition, people over the age of 12 who have an underlying condition that can lead to severe illness with Covid-19 should also get a shot.

Experts also recommend that residents and staff in nursing homes or long-term care facilities receive a fourth jab.

READ ALSO: When – and how – people can get the new Omicron vaccine in Germany

In STIKO’s latest guidance dated September 20th, experts also say that it may be appropriate for people at particular risk, for instance the very elderly or people with immunodeficiency, to get another shot (a fifth jab) after the fourth vaccination, although that would depend on several factors and a medical consultation. 

A Covid test centre in Rostock, northern Germany.

A Covid test centre in Rostock, northern Germany. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd Wüstneck

Should people under the age of 60 get a fourth jab?

If people don’t fall into a risk group and are under the age of 60, they can still receive a fourth vaccination, although it’s not officially recommended. You should have a consultation with your GP – or a doctor carrying out Covid vaccinations – if you are interested in getting the fourth jab. 

How do vaccination centres handle people under 60 who want to get another Covid shot?

There have been occasional reports in Germany that younger people who don’t belong to a risk group have been turned away from vaccination centres because they don’t qualify for a booster jab. 

However, The Local has anecdotally heard that people have been able to get a jab from a vaccination station or centre, regardless of their health condition or age.

A spokesperson at the health department of the city Munich told broadcaster BR24 that carrying out a fourth vaccination is decided on a case-by-case basis and is a decision taken by the medical expert giving out the jab “in each case”.

Where is the fourth vaccination available? 

There are still lots of walk-in vaccination centres across the country, while many doctors and pharmacies also carry out jabs. You should search online or contact your GP for more information. 

Many towns and cities are reporting a significant increase in demand since the new vaccines adapted for Omicron variants became available.

READ ALSO: Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

How many people in Germany have been vaccinated?

According to official figures, 76.3 percent of the German population has received two Covid jabs. Just over 62 percent have also received a booster jab, and 9.9 percent have been given a second booster vaccination.

Around 18.4 million people (22.2 percent) in Germany are not vaccinated. For four million of these people aged 0 to four years (4.8 percent), no licensed vaccine is available.

Does getting the flu vaccination help against Covid?

Coronaviruses and the flu are different viruses, so the flu jab cannot protect against Covid-19. However, those who have a weaker immune system can strengthen their body in fighting a virus by getting a flu shot, according to experts. The immune system can then better use resources it saves against a possible Covid infection.

The fourth Covid jab and the flu shot can be administered to patients at the same time, according to the STIKO – although they don’t have to be.

If this is the case, the injections are given in different arms. However, it could be the case that patients have a stronger reaction if both jabs are carried out at the same time, so keep that in mind. 

READ ALSO: Can anyone in Germany get a second Covid booster jab?