A vaccination centre in Berlin/Photo: Femi Awoniyi

Vaccination campaign saving thousands of lives in Germany — study

Germany’s public health body, the Robert Koch Institute, found that vaccines have a high level of effectiveness against the virus. German politicians are debating the best way to ramp up vaccinations in the country.

Germany’s mass vaccination campaign against the coronavirus has prevented thousands of deaths, according to a new study released by Germany’s public health body, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

What did the report say?
The report, which was published on Friday, found that vaccinations during the “third wave” of the virus prevented 38,000 deaths. Over 706,000 new cases of infection were prevented due to people getting the jab.

The calculated model was based on data from the last 6.5 months of Germany’s mass vaccination campaign this year.

Vaccinations prevented more than 76,000 hospitalizations, and kept nearly 20,000 people from winding up in an intensive care unit.

The RKI found that vaccinations have a high rate of effectivness against the virus. The health body says data shows that vaccinations will “pave the way out of the pandemic.”

45 million people in Germany fully vaccinated
German authorities are currently debating the best way to increase vaccinations in the country, amid the rise of the more contagious delta variant.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said Saturday that more than 45 million people in Germany have been fully vaccinated, or 54.5% of the population.

A total of 51.8 million people in Germany, or 62.3%, have received at least one dose.

Spahn recently recommended vaccinations for 12 to 17-year-olds, but the idea has not yet been endorsed by national vaccine regulator STIKO.

“Getting the vaccine is a personal decision, but also one that affects us all as a community. Every individual will decide how well we will all get through the fall and winter,” Spahn tweeted Saturday.

Controversy over vaccination policies
Other European countries, such as France and Italy, have implemented policies requiring residents to prove they are vaccinated or recovered from the virus to enter public spaces, such as restaurants.

The decision by those countries has been met with massive protests, with some citizens believing the policy infringes on their freedoms.

In Germany, followers of the Querdenker (lateral thinker) movement have taken to the streets against coronavirus restrictions and vaccines.

Some German politicians have come out against making the vaccine compulsory.

Andrew Ullman, a member of the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Germany’s Bundestag, told the Deutschlandfunk outlet on Saturday that although he is pro-vaccine, he believes making the jab compulsory would not be an effective policy.

wd/csb (AP, dpa)

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