Germany Gives Record 1.1 Million Covid Shots as Cases Ease

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Germany administered a record of just under 1.1 million Covid-19 shots Wednesday, further accelerating efforts to control the pandemic in Europe’s biggest economy.

General practitioners administered a total of 730,000 doses, and vaccine centers another 360,000 shots, accounting for more than 1% of the population for the first time, Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a news conference in Berlin.

“That shows how much speed we’ve gained,” Spahn said. “It’s not enough yet to gain herd immunity in the population, but every shot offers protection.”

After a sluggish start, Germany is helping lead the charge in Europe’s quickening Covid vaccination campaign, with 25.9% of its residents now having received a single dose and 7.5% fully covered.

Germany Gives Record 1.1 Million Covid Shots as Cases Ease

The country appears to be finally beating back the third wave of Covid-19, with the national seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 people falling in recent days. It remains above a level that triggers the closing of stores, schools, restaurants and cultural venues in most parts of the country.

The number of Covid patients in intensive-care units fell for a third straight day on Thursday to 5,015, below the peak of 5,745 during the second wave in early January.

Still, infections remain too high, and continue to rise in people under 60, Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute public-health agency, said alongside Spahn.

Germany Gives Record 1.1 Million Covid Shots as Cases Ease

“The pandemic is unfortunately not over and it won’t be under control until it’s under control in every part of the world,” Wieler said.

Spahn described this week’s falling Covid metrics a “signal,” saying the numbers need to keep going down before a safe relaxation of virus restrictions can occur.

All German adults will become eligible for a Covid shot by June, Spahn said, though he cautioned that there probably won’t be enough supplies available to actually administer doses to everybody until later in the summer.

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