A coronavirus vaccine has been offered to nearly all residents of pension, care, and nursing homes in Germany, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Friday.
Speaking at a news conference in Berlin, Spahn said Germany’s vaccination program has reached a milestone, as health authorities have offered a jab to the majority of people in the top priority group.
“Two months after the start of vaccination program, we can report the first achievements. Almost all residents of pension and nursing homes have been offered a coronavirus vaccine. Many of them already received their second dose,” he said.
In many federal states, the majority of people over 80 have also had their first dose of a vaccine, Spahn said.
“In total, 4.5% of the population have received the first dose of a vaccine, and 2.4% got their second dose,” he added.
Germany began administering coronavirus vaccines in December, but Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government has faced criticism for the slow pace of vaccination compared to other developed countries.
As of Thursday, almost 3.7 million people had been administered their first doses of the vaccine, with over 1.9 million people having gotten a second jab, making them fully vaccinated.
According to the government’s vaccination strategy, the first vaccines are offered to the residents of care and nursing homes, front-line health workers, and adults over age of 80.
Once the inoculation of the top priority group is completed, the vaccination campaign will continue with adults over 70, people with dementia, and transplant patients.
People over 60, chronically ill patients, and public sector employees working under high risk are included in the third priority group.
The government is planning to offer all adult citizens a coronavirus vaccine by the end of September.
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