clearn.png
Thursday December 2nd, 2021 8:11PM

German health minister seeks to step up booster shots

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Germany's health minister called Wednesday for booster vaccinations to be stepped up and for more frequent checks of people's vaccination or test status as new COVID-19 infections increase.

Senior health officials also appealed anew to German residents who haven't yet been vaccinated at all to get their shots, though Health Minister Jens Spahn acknowledged that many of the holdouts can't be convinced. They said that pressure on hospital beds is rising, particularly in regions where vaccination rates are relatively low.

Spahn said that although officials agreed in August to make booster shots available to over-60s and nursing home residents and staff, only a bit over 2 million have been administered so far.

“That is much too few — the pace of boosters is not sufficient,” he added.

There is some tension between the minister and doctors' organizations over the issue. Germany's independent standing committee on vaccination — whose recommendations are followed by many doctors — currently recommends boosters for over-70s and a few other groups, but the health ministry says everyone who wants one is entitled to one.

“If every country waited for data before they do anything, we wouldn't have any data,” Spahn said, noting that boosters have been cleared by European authorities and vaccinations of teenagers also were started well before a recommendation from the committee. He said the most at-risk should take priority, but as far as others are concerned “the vaccine is there, the clearance is there and findings from other countries are there.”

Official figures show that about two-thirds of Germany's population of 83 million has completed its first round of vaccination. The head of the country's disease control center, Lothar Wieler, said that 16.2 million people age 12 or above remain unvaccinated — including 3.2 million over-60s.

Germany hasn't made coronavirus vaccinations obligatory for any professional groups, unlike some of its European counterparts. But regional governments have limited access to some indoor events and facilities to people who have been vaccinated, have recently recovered or been tested, and some are tightening those rules.

Checks are often lax at best.

“If my vaccination certificate is checked more often in one day in Rome than it sometimes is in four weeks in Germany, then I think more can be done,” Spahn said. He also called for obligatory testing across Germany of nursing home staff and visitors, including those who have been vaccinated.

___

Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Health, AP World News, AP Business, AP Health - Senior Health
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Poland protests to Belarus over 'intrusion' by armed forces
Poland’s foreign ministry says it summoned a Belarusian diplomat over an “intrusion” into Polish territory of “uniformed individuals armed with long guns.”
8:17AM ( 16 minutes ago )
German health minister seeks to step up booster shots
Germany’s health minister is calling for booster vaccinations to be stepped up and for more frequent checks of people’s vaccination or test status as new COVID-19 infections increase
8:12AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Ash from erupting volcano forces Spanish islanders indoors
Authorities on La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands are telling people who live near an erupting volcano to stay indoors because of a heavy fall of ash that has also cancelled of school classes
8:00AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
COVID-19 cases rise in Europe for 5th consecutive week
The World Health Organization says the number of coronavirus cases has risen in Europe for the fifth consecutive week, making it the only world region where COVID-19 is still increasing
6:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Bangladesh's villages bear the brutal cost of climate change
Impacts of climate change from more frequent cyclones to tidal flooding are devastating Bangladesh, where an estimated 30 million people may be displaced from the coast
4:39AM ( 3 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: What to know about vaccines for kids aged 5-11
Vaccinations finally are available to U.S. children as young as 5, to the relief of many parents
1:00AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Health
UK tells private sector it must invest big to save planet
Britain is calling for the world’s financial industry to channel its vast funds toward greener investments to ensure that efforts to curb global warming succeed
7:00AM ( 1 hour ago )
S Africa's Galgut, US author Powers lead Booker Prize race
The winner of the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction will be chosen from six novels that explore historical traumas, the nature of consciousness and the mind-warping power of the internet
6:09AM ( 2 hours ago )
Italy-Croatia fight over Prosecco name gets ready to pop
Italy has pledged to defend the name of the popular sparkling wine Prosecco as Croatia petitions the European Union to allow its winemakers to call their sweet dessert wine Prosek
5:59AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
Cyprus holds rig security drills amid hydrocarbon tensions
Ships and aircraft from eight nations are taking part in annual drills to boost safety and security procedures on vessels and oil rigs off Cyprus’ southern coastline amid ongoing tensions with neighboring Turkey over competing claims to hydrocarbon reserves
7:16AM ( 1 hour ago )
World shares mixed ahead of Federal Reserve meeting
Shares are mixed in Europe and Asia as investors exercise caution ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement
4:48AM ( 3 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Why are foreign tech firms pulling out of China?
Yahoo Inc. said this week that will withdraw from the China market
4:07AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Business
Democrats announce deal for lower drug prices in Biden bill
Democrats announced they have sealed a deal to lower pharmaceutical drug costs for seniors as part of President Joe Biden’s sweeping $1.75 trillion domestic proposal
3:20PM ( 17 hours ago )
Medicaid issues, not Medicare's, get fixes in Biden budget
Medicaid issues are turning up as winners in President Joe Biden’s social budget framework even as divisions force Democrats to hit pause on far-reaching improvements to Medicare
4:58PM ( 4 days ago )
NFL set to propose fix to race-norming in dementia testing
The NFL is set to propose changes to the $1 billion concussion settlement after an outcry over test score adjustments known as “race-norming."
2:09PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Health - Senior Health
Poland protests to Belarus over 'intrusion' by armed forces
Poland’s foreign ministry says it summoned a Belarusian diplomat over an “intrusion” into Polish territory of “uniformed individuals armed with long guns.”
8:17AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Ash from erupting volcano forces Spanish islanders indoors
Authorities on La Palma in Spain's Canary Islands are telling people who live near an erupting volcano to stay indoors because of a heavy fall of ash that has also cancelled of school classes
8:00AM ( 33 minutes ago )
COVID-19 vaccine campaign expands to elementary-age children
Schoolchildren take the spotlight this week as the U.S. enters a new phase in COVID-19 vaccination aimed at curbing deaths, hospitalizations and more than a year of disrupted education
7:57AM ( 36 minutes ago )
The Latest: Kerry says COP26 more focused than past summits
U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry says that the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow have more energy and focus than previous rounds of climate negotiations in particular because of the strong presence and support of the private sector
7:52AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Youngkin's Virginia win jolts Democrats, tight race in NJ
Republican Glenn Youngkin has won Virginia’s governor’s race, a major political turnabout in a state that had been trending increasingly blue
7:51AM ( 42 minutes ago )