Vaccines for young people in Germany 'possible' by end of summer, says Health Minister

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 11 May, 2021 Updated Tue 11 May 2021 14:22 CEST
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German Health Minister Jens Spahn thinks it’s possible that vaccinations will be made available to 12- to 18-year-olds in Germany by the end of the summer vacations, he said on Tuesday.


However, that depends primarily on the approval of vaccines for adolescents, Spahn said on Deutschlandfunk radio. 

"Just today, the European Medicines Agency has said yes, that at the end of May or beginning of June, this can happen once the vaccines are approved."

Spahn added that the federal government and states agreed that the vaccinations for young people will then take place - for example, in schools or by inviting them to vaccination centres. 


By the end of the summer vacations, all 12- to 18-year-olds could thus receive at least one jab, and ideally already both, Spahn said. 

Then schools could start operating more normally again, he added. Currently several remain closed in German cities and districts with high Covid incidence rates. 

In April, Germany’s BioNTech said it hopes for 12-15 year olds to receive its vaccine starting in June, pointing out that it’s safe for this age group. 

'Accept the offer'

The Health Minister also encouraged older people not to refuse vaccinations from manufacturers AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. 

"I can really only appeal to those over 60 who get an AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccine offer to accept it,” he said, referring to the age group for which the vaccines, which run a rare risk in younger people, are recommended. 

Both vaccines are also now available to all adults after a consultation with their doctors.

READ ALSO: Germany makes J&J vaccine available to all adults: What you need to know

“The vaccines are very good and very effective, in some cases even more effective than BioNtech, especially in the elderly," he said.

Currently, one-third of Germans have been vaccinated at least once, he said, as new Covid infections continue to decline. 

On Tuesday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported 6,125 new infections in the last 24 hours, down from 7,534 a week before.

"If we keep this up together, then this can be a good summer," Spahn said. Especially in June, he said, Germany will have significantly more vaccine doses at its disposal.

The country expects an installment of 10 million doses from Johnson & Johnson by the end of July.

There is clearly reason for confidence, Spahn said, but we also have to avoid this morphing into overconfidence.

"Otherwise it will catch up with us again far too quickly," he said.



DPA/The Local 2021/05/11 14:22

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denise.gilliamhill 2021/05/12 00:04
How about the authorities waiting until the trials are finished in 2023 before jabbing millions of young people who don't need this.

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