Germany intends to give a boost to its vaccination campaign against Covid-19.
The country will be able to open it to all adolescents over 12 years old by the end of August, subject to the green light from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for this age group, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Thursday.
The government and the regions have agreed that "a vaccine offer can be made every 12-18 years by the end of August," said the minister who is counting on an authorization of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine by the EMA for 12-15 year olds in June.
USA vaccinates minors
The European regulator began its assessment at the beginning of May to decide whether to extend to young people the use of the vaccine from the two laboratories currently authorized from the age of 16.
After Canada, the United States have just given the green light to its use for 12-15 year olds.
Until then, no vaccine had been administered to children, who were less exposed to severe cases of the disease and whose vaccination had not been a priority until now.
But they represent a large part of the population and will therefore also need to be immunized in order to curb the transmission of the disease, experts argue.
Five million injections in April
The German government had already announced its goal of offering vaccination to all adults by the end of September.
By adding adolescents, the country therefore intends to achieve the immunization of its population more quickly.
Germany has significantly increased the pace of its vaccination campaign in recent weeks, injecting over a million doses on some days.
Five million people were vaccinated in April, more than during the three months which preceded, underlined the minister.
Fewer health rules for the vaccinated
To keep its schedule, the government has also decided to remove the priority rule to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, now available to all audiences who want it.
The national health authority continues to recommend it above all for those over 60 years old.
Priority groups are still in place to benefit from other vaccines.
From this weekend, people who have received their two injections will be able to benefit from a relaxation of health rules.
For example, they will no longer be subject to the curfew in place from 10 p.m. and will no longer have to present a negative test in stores.
Cafes, restaurants, sports and cultural facilities have remained closed in Germany since the end of 2020, with no reopening schedule at this stage.
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