German vaccine centres told to be ready for booster campaign

COVID 19 vaccine

German Health Minister Jens Spahn has called for vaccination centres across the country’s 16 federal states to be opened again, as pressure grows to offer more people a booster shot against Covid-19.

“In order to offer as many people a booster shot as quickly as possible, the states should prepare the vaccine centres, which have been on standby since the end of September,” Spahn told the Rheinische Post newspaper.

All those aged 60 and older should be first in line for a booster, said Spahn, who is a minister in the outgoing Cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

With infection numbers rising nationwide, several senior health figures including Spahn called at the weekend for a “booster summit” to coordinate the next stage of vaccinations in Germany.

The seven-day incidence rate of infection in Germany hit 154.8 on Monday, compared to 110.1 the week before. The rate at which patients are being admitted to hospital with Covid-19 has also been rising steadily. There were 23 deaths in the last 24 hours, according to the official disease control body.

Given the increasing numbers, the president of the German Medical Association, Klaus Reinhardt, said on Monday that that he would support barring unvaccinated individuals from some areas of public life, for example museums and restaurants.

It would be “appropriate” to restrict these areas to people who were either fully vaccinated or had recovered from Covid-19, he told public broadcaster ZDF. In other words, a negative test would not be sufficient.

Workplaces could still allow those with a negative Covid-19 test in to work, even though they are not vaccinated, he suggested.

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