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VACCINE

German Health Minister predicts 90 percent of people who want vaccine will have one by mid-July

Health Minister Jens Spahn says Germany is on track to offer nine out of 10 adults who are willing to be vaccinated a shot by mid-July.

German Health Minister predicts 90 percent of people who want vaccine will have one by mid-July
Jens Spahn holds a press conference on the lifting of vaccine prioritisation on May 17th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

According to Spahn, an estimated 70-75 percent of the German population is willing to be vaccinated. 

As of Monday, 43 percent of the population had had been given at least one dose of the vaccine – meaning that two thirds of adults who want a vaccine have already been given one. Around 17.6 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.

On June 7th, Germany is due to lift the vaccination prioritisation list to allow all adults to book a vaccine at their local GP’s surgery or vaccination centre, regardless of whether they belong to a risk group or not. 

Until that time, several states are still inoculating priority group 3, which includes over-60s, key workers and people with chronic health conditions – though some states, like Berlin and Bavaria, have already lifted their prioritisation lists for GPs. 

READ ALSO: State by state – What are Germany’s current vaccination groups?

Asked by German talk show host Anne Will whether Spahn was giving people an unrealistic promise that they would all be able to get a vaccine shot straight away, Spahn pointed to the drastic improvement in the speed of the vaccination drive. 

“At Easter I visited a vaccination centre in Berlin, and at that time, 12 percent of the German population had had one shot of the vaccine,” he told her. “At Pfingsten, seven weeks later, more than 40 percent of the population are partially vaccinated. That just shows the speed we’ve picked up.” 

READ ALSO: How many people have been vaccinated so far in Germany?

The Health Minister also revealed that Germany was expecting around 50 million doses of the BionTech/Pfizer vaccine alone by the end of August. By this time, children over 12 will also have a chance to receive a vaccine, said Spahn. 

“I just don’t understand this debate,” he told Will. “Of course all over-12s who want the vaccine – whose parents want that, who’ve decided that with their doctor – of course they’ll be able to get one by the end of August.” 

Having found a reliable manufacturer of the vaccine in the past few months who could regularly deliver the necessary doses, the roll-out had become “a lot easier”, he added. 

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COVID-19

German Chancellor Scholz tests positive for Covid after Gulf tour

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has tested positive for the coronavirus and is displaying mild symptoms after returning from a tour of the Gulf, his spokesman said Monday.

German Chancellor Scholz tests positive for Covid after Gulf tour

The 64-year-old Social Democrat is isolating in his apartment in the chancellery, and will attend meetings online, spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said.

At the weekend, he visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on a hunt for new energy sources after Russia cut gas supplies amid tensions over the Ukraine war.

He signed a deal Sunday for the UAE to supply natural gas and diesel to Germany.

READ ALSO: UAE to supply Germany with gas and diesel 

Meanwhile Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, also of the SPD, announced via Twitter on Monday that she had tested positive for Covid.

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