Germany ‘won’t need more Covid curbs this winter’ because 3.5million people more have been jabbed than was thought

·2-min read
A woman walks past a placard for a coronavirus testing station in Dortmund on Thursday  (AFP via Getty Images)
A woman walks past a placard for a coronavirus testing station in Dortmund on Thursday (AFP via Getty Images)

Germany is likely to escape any further coronavirus curbs this autumn and winter because its vaccination rate is even higher than thought.

That was the message delivered by the country’s health minister, Jens Spahn, on Thursday.

He said a study by the Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases had shown that the number of people vaccinated against Covid-19 was five per cent higher than believed.

That means existing rules requiring people to show evidence of showing a negative test or having been vaccinated or recovered on entering an indoor space or event should be enough.

“As things stand, this vaccination rate means no further restrictions are needed,” he said.

After analysing citizens surveys and reporting data, the institute has decided up to 84 per cent of over 18s in Germany have received at least one jab, and up to 80 percent are already fully vaccinated.

But according to official reports from vaccination centres, slightly less than 80 per cent of those over 18 have received their first dose, with just over 75 per cent have been fully jabbed.

The higher estimate from the institute amounts to an extra 3.5million having had the vaccine.

On Wednesday, Mr Spahn urged people to get vaccinated against flu this year, to avoid a surge in hospitalisations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He said vulnerable people in particular should get the flu shot, adding that Germany has ordered 27 million doses of influenza vaccine this year.

Germany’s independent vaccine panel has said both the shots against flu and the coronavirus can be administered at the same time.

Germany often has low vaccination rates against flu compared to other developed countries, and has also been lagging in Europe when it comes to the Covid-19 shot. Around 65 per cent of Germany’s population are fully vaccinated, slightly less than France (66 per cent) and the UK (67 per cent).

Since the start of the outbreak, almost 94,000 people in Germany have died from Covid-19.

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