Germany getting more vaccines for ‘offensive’ booster drive

Dec 15, 2021, 5:45 PM | Updated: Dec 16, 2021, 11:06 am
A girl is vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine during a vaccination appointment at the University Med...

A girl is vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine during a vaccination appointment at the University Medical Center in Rostock, German, Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021. (Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP)

(Stefan Sauer/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Germany is scrambling to procure more vaccines to fuel what the new health minister on Thursday called a “very offensive” and fast booster strategy that would leave the country better prepared for the onslaught of the new omicron variant.

Germany on Wednesday administered nearly 1.5 million shots, its highest one-day total so far. As its vaccination campaign has revved back up, an average of some 988,000 people per day have been vaccinated over the past week.

The proportion of Germany’s population of 83 million that has been fully vaccinated now stands at 70% — a number that officials, who had set a minimum target of 75%, aren’t satisfied with. And 27.6% also have received a booster shot, a figure that is rising quickly.

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said that “we will try with a very offensive, fast booster strategy to keep the omicron variant as small as possible to avoid overloading the health system and possibly society as a whole.”

But Lauterbach told reporters he wasn’t satisfied with an inventory of vaccine delivery plans for the rest of December and next year’s first quarter after he took office last week in the new government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, because “it simply isn’t enough for such a vaccination strategy.”

With those delivery numbers, “the booster campaign would be finished at the end of March, and we can’t work with that,” Lauterbach said.

He said his ministry launched efforts to remedy that on Saturday, and has secured the European Union’s approval to get the delivery of 35 million doses from Moderna moved forward.

Lauterbach said he is negotiating with other countries, including Romania, Poland, Portugal and Bulgaria, to secure more vaccines. Germany also hopes to get doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine that have been adapted to the omicron variant in the first quarter.

The minister said he expects that “the booster vaccination and possibly also a fourth vaccination will be the central pillars of a successful strategy.”

Omicron hasn’t yet become a major factor in Germany, unlike in Britain. But the country is only now seeing a wave of infections caused by the still-dominant delta variant, its biggest so far, recede slowly. There are signs that restrictions imposed in recent weeks are beginning to have an effect.

Recent restrictions have included requiring people to show proof of vaccination and recovery to enter nonessential shops. On Thursday, the top administrative court in the northwestern state of Lower Saxony overturned that newly introduced regulation for the region, faulting details and finding that it wasn’t “currently a necessary protection measure.”

Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s disease control center, said that “a few hundred cases” of omicron have been registered so far, and it has been found in all 16 German states.

Wieler warned that Germans need to make sure the Christmas period doesn’t provide a “kick-start for omicron,” recommending that they spend the time with close family and reduce their contacts.

Wieler’s institute said that Germany has seen 340.1 new coronavirus infections per 100,000 residents over the past seven days, down from 422.3 a week earlier. There were 56,677 confirmed new cases over the past 24 hours and 522 more deaths — bringing Germany’s toll in the pandemic so far to 107,202.

___

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

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Judge rules naughty bits off limits at Trump dossier trial

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that prosecutors cannot present evidence to a jury about the most salacious parts of a flawed dossier alleging connections between former President Donald Trump and Russia at an upcoming trial of an analyst who served as a primary source for that report. Igor Danchenko is scheduled […]
15 hours ago
FILE - A logo for Amazon is displayed on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite, July 27, 2018. Amazon i...
Associated Press

Report: Amazon freezes hiring on corporate retail division

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is implementing a hiring freeze on the corporate side of its retail business for the rest of the year, according to a New York Times report, becoming the latest company to pause hiring plans amid growing concerns about an economic downturn. Citing an internal announcement, The New York Times reported […]
15 hours ago
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz rubs his eyes during the penalty phase of...
Associated Press

Expert: School shooter faked fetal alcohol symptoms

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors spent several boring hours Tuesday trying to prove Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz purposely did poorly on tests administered to see if he suffers from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, the primary reason his attorneys say he murdered 17 people four years ago. But after presenting dozens of charts showing […]
15 hours ago
FILE - Kelli Ward, chair of the Arizona Republican Party, holds a news conference in Phoenix, Nov. ...
Associated Press

Lawyers: Arizona GOP chair pleaded Fifth to Jan. 6 panel

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward refused to answer questions during a deposition of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, an attorney for the panel revealed Tuesday during a court hearing in Phoenix. Attorney Eric Columbus told a federal judge that Ward asserted her Fifth Amendment right […]
15 hours ago
Freight cars wait to be hauled out of the Norfolk Southern Conway Terminal in Conway, Pa., Thursday...
Associated Press

Fourth union approves deal with railroads to get 24% raises

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Another union has approved the deal it made with the major freight railroads last month that helped prevent a strike to secure 24% raises and $5,000 in bonuses for the workers it represents. The American Train Dispatchers Association said Tuesday that 64% of its roughly 1,600 members approved the deal with […]
15 hours ago
FILE - U.S. Sen. Rev. Raphael Warnock, wearing a "I'm a Georgia Voter" sticker, leaves a press conf...
Associated Press

Walker report puts abortion back at center of Georgia race

ATLANTA (AP) — In Georgia’s pivotal U.S. Senate race, Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock and his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, have each been laboring to cast the other as an extremist on abortion while deflecting questions about the finer points of their own positions. The sidestepping by Warnock, who supports abortion rights, and Walker, who has […]
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Germany getting more vaccines for ‘offensive’ booster drive