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Germany: Prioritization Falls, Corona Vaccinations for Everyone

Germany will be ending its prioritization in the ongoing Corona vaccination campaign on June 7th, 2021. This means all adult residents can get vaccinated, no matter how old they are or what profession they have. The government’s decision could speed up the vaccination process further, and it might create chaos.

Berlin, May 18th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — In Berlin, Health Minister Jens Spahn made an announcement many Germans had not expected this early. After a discussion with his colleagues from Germany’s sixteen federal states, he said the prioritization would end in three weeks from now, on June 7th, 2021. Spahn stated the announcement would give doctor’s offices and vaccination centers planning certainty.

Carefully Orchestrated

By dumping the prioritization, Germany is throwing its vaccination strategy overboard. Since the vaccinations commenced in early January, protecting the most vulnerable persons had been the focus. Citizens and other residents above 80 were the first ones to get their shots at Germany’s vaccination centers, where the process was carefully orchestrated. Then, priority group 2 was invited, persons older than 70. More recently, people in their 60s were eligible. Individuals with certain pre-existing conditions and with system-relevant professions were vaccinated early on as well.

From June 7th, 2021, all adults can try to get vaccination appointments at vaccination centers, general practitioners and company doctors. But what sounds simple and easy is actually complicated and difficult. Minister Spahn definitely had good reasons to ask people for patience. He said the end of the prioritization did not mean that everyone would get a vaccination appointment within a few days. The vaccination campaign would continue throughout the summer.

All at Once

For the first time, company doctors and doctors who concentrate on what Germany calls “private medical care” will be included in the vaccination process. This will speed things up further. So far, up to 1.38 million vaccination shots were administered in one day. This record, which was reached last Wednesday, will probably soon be broken. Of course, it all depends on the vaccine deliveries. According to Jens Spahn, the latter are “very reliable” these days, especially the ones sent by Biontech/Pfizer. Until June 7th, the prioritization will still apply. More headway will be made before tens of millions of Germans will want their shots, all at once.

Representatives for doctor’s associations criticized Spahn’s move by saying he was just passing on his problems to the doctors. They also said the government was creating a chaos by ending the prioritization this early in the game. Spahn shot back by saying the very same organizations who were criticizing the policy change now had been the ones that had called for an end of the prioritization for weeks now. The Berlin government has to digest complaints 24/7, whatever it does.

40 Million Shots

In Germany, 40.1 million doses of vaccine have been administered, so far. While 37 percent of all citizens and other residents have gotten at least one of two required shots, 11.2 percent got both of them. In Germany, the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is the only approved product that requires one shot only.

All relevant Corona numbers for Germany, and daily Corona updates, can be found in our Corona chronology.

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