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.
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.
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“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.”
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.