Germany’s vaccine action week kicks off today
As was announced last week, Germany’s “vaccine action week” (Impfaktionswoche) kicks off this week. The scheme looks to target previously unvaccinated people and gives them the opportunity to get inoculated in their local area, free of charge and without an appointment.
Germany ramps up its vaccination drive
Germany’s vaccination drive kicks into another gear this week, with a nationwide campaign targeted at those who are still not vaccinated against coronavirus. Under the motto #HierWirdGeimpft (get vaccinated here), the “vaccine action week” will run between September 13 and September 19, and will see a number of different venues open their doors to offer free vaccinations without prior appointment.
Those looking to get vaccinated can visit vaccination centres all over the country, as well as libraries, religious buildings, sports clubs, pharmacies and shopping centres. You can find your local participating venue on the #HierWirdGeimpft website (in German).
Chancellor Angela Merkel has joined the calls for citizens to take advantage of the vaccination week, saying: “It has never been easier to get a vaccination. It has never been faster." Vaccines have certainly never been as accessible as they are now, with jabs even being made available on public transport. The emergency services will also lend their assistance to the campaign; volunteer fire brigades have already signed up to offer jabs to those that want them.
New vaccine campaign to continue past this week
The measures put in place from the start of this week are set to continue long after the week is over. "It doesn't end with the vaccination week, it will continue in the next few weeks,” said Chancellery Minister Helge Braun in Berlin on Sunday. The hope is that this new approach to Germany’s vaccination drive will prevent a fourth coronavirus wave in the winter, which would put pressure on Germany's healthcare system.
From October 11, coronavirus testing will stop being free of charge, in an attempt to further encourage people to get vaccinated.
Calls for celebrities to get behind the campaign
The head of the Association of Towns and Municipalities has called for social media to be used to promote the campaign. It is always helpful "when celebrities from the arts, culture and sport clearly acknowledge vaccination and call for it. Just as we have reading ambassadors, there should also be vaccination ambassadors," Gerd Landsberg told reporters. Landsberg called for this week’s campaign to continue over the next few months, warning that Germany will otherwise suffer a fourth wave.
Politicians and health experts have long been trying to figure out how to convince vaccine sceptics to get jabbed. Martin Stürmer, a virologist from Frankfurt, has spoken of an urgent need for more education around the topic of vaccinations. He told reporters that authorities need to understand which populations groups are most against being vaccinated and work on convincing them.
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