More than 50 percent of Germany's population now fully vaccinated
After getting off to a shaky start, Germany has now achieved a significant milestone in the race to vaccinate against COVID-19: more than half of the population is now fully vaccinated.
50,2 percent of German population fully vaccinated
“Another milestone: More than half of the German population (50,2 percent / 41,8 million) now has full protection, while 61,1 percent (50,85 million people) have received at least one jab,” Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “The more people who get vaccinated, the safer we will be in autumn and winter.”
According to the federal government’s vaccine dashboard, the small city-state of Bremen is the furthest ahead with its inoculation campaign, with 59,2 percent of residents fully vaccinated. Other federal states with well-advanced campaigns include Saarland (54,8 percent), Schleswig-Holstein (53,7 percent), and North Rhine-Westphalia (52,8 percent).
Vaccine uptake slowing
After being slow off the starting blocks, Germany’s vaccination campaign gathered pace in the spring, rising to a peak in May and June, when more than a million people were regularly getting vaccinated each day. In recent weeks, however, the rollout has slowed considerably, despite the country still being some way off its target of 80 percent takeup.
With the highly-infectious Delta variant now circulating widely in the federal republic, fears are mounting that a fourth wave of infections could still be sparked. While Germany is sticking firm to its line that jabs will not be made mandatory, the government has shown it is open to the idea of using legislation to make vaccination seem more appealing.
For instance, last week Angela Merkel’s chief of staff, Helge Braun, floated the idea of introducing restrictions for unvaccinated people only, should case rates continue to rise. The government is also poised to impose new testing requirements on unvaccinated arrivals.