Germany accelerates Covid-19 vaccinations

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Berlin, April 9 (IANS) Germany’s health care personnel administered over 650,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses on Wednesday, almost 300,000 more than a day earlier, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) said.

The country continues to accelerate its vaccination campaign. Since Tuesday, general practitioners (GPs) have also been administering coronavirus vaccines. Previously, jabs were offered only at the country’s 430 special vaccination centres or by mobile teams, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

More than three months after the start of the country’s vaccination campaign in Germany, around 4.7 million people had been fully vaccinated by Wednesday, bringing the vaccination rate to 5.7 per cent, according to the RKI, the federal government agency for disease control and prevention.

On Thursday, Minister of Health Jens Spahn confirmed that Berlin was engaged in bilateral talks with Russia about the possible delivery of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine in the next two to five months once it receives approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Despite the ongoing lockdown and the country’s vaccination campaign, the number of new Covid-19 infections increased sharply in Germany after the Easter holidays. The country registered 20,407 new Covid-19 infections in 24 hours on Thursday, according to the RKI.

To date, more than 2.9 million Covid-19 infections have been officially registered in Germany since the outbreak of the pandemic. The death toll climbed to 77,707 on Thursday, the RKI said.