“41.8 million Germans (50.2 percent) now have full protection, while 61.1 percent have received at least one shot. The more people who get vaccinated, the safer we will be in autumn and winter,” Spahn wrote on Twitter.
He said it was “another milestone” for the country’s inoculation campaign.
Ein weiterer Meilenstein: Mehr als jeder zweite Deutsche (50,2% / 41,8 Mio) hat den vollen Impfschutz, 61,1% (50,85 Mio) der Bürgerinnen und Bürger sind mindestens einmal geimpft. Je mehr sich jetzt impfen lassen, desto sicherer werden Herbst und Winter!
— Jens Spahn (@jensspahn) July 28, 2021
Germany’s vaccination campaign accelerated in the spring after a sluggish first few months, yet the country remains some way off the 80 percent targeted for herd immunity.
The inoculation drive has slowed to a snail’s pace in recent weeks, sharpening fears of a fourth wave of infections driven by the more contagious Delta variant.
The Our World in Data chart below shows the slowing number of daily vaccines administered in Germany.
Out of all the 16 states, the city state of Bremen is in the lead with roughly 58.3 percent of residents fully vaccinated, and 70.1 percent of people partially jabbed.
Saxony is the furthest behind on both counts with around 46.1 percent of people fully jabbed, and about 51.8 percent of residents receiving at least one shot so far.
German journalist Olaf Gersemann tweeted the comparisons for German states for residents who’ve received at least one jab against Covid.
— Olaf Gersemann (@OlafGersemann) July 28, 2021
Germany desperately trying to convince vaccine sceptics
With case numbers also rising, the debate over how to convince more people to take the vaccine is set to become a key issue in the national elections scheduled for September 26th.
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Unlike other European countries such as France and Greece, Germany has so far ruled out introducing compulsory jabs for certain parts of the population.
Last week, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged citizens to get vaccinated to curb what she called a “clear and worrying dynamic” in the infection rates.
“Every vaccination… is a small step towards a return to normality,” she said.
Merkel’s chief of staff Helge Braun has also mooted possible further restrictions on public life for the unvaccinated, even if they can show a negative test.
“Vaccinated people will definitely have more freedom than unvaccinated people” if case numbers rise again in the autumn, said Braun.
Germany has seen low infection numbers over the summer compared to many of its European neighbours, but cases have been creeping up over the past weeks.
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On Wednesday, official figures showed 2,768 new coronavirus cases over the last 24 hours, while the incidence had risen again to reach 15 cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period.
According to the Robert Koch Institute public health agency, the Delta variant now accounts for more than 80 percent of all new infections in Germany.