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People's Daily Online

Over 265,000 in Germany receive COVID-19 vaccine

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 10:28, January 05, 2021

BERLIN, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- A total of 265,986 people have received COVID-19 vaccine in Germany as of Monday, the Robert Koch Institute said.

Among those vaccinated were more than 114,600 residents of nursing homes and around 123,100 medical staff, according to data collected from federal states. The country's COVID-19 vaccination program started on Dec. 27.

"Vaccination paves the way out of the pandemic," Minister of Health Jens Spahn told the German newspaper Rheinische Post Monday. "Step by step, we will be able to vaccinate more people and thus, step by step, get more normality back."

Figures from Johns Hopkins University showed that Germany has registered nearly 1.8 million coronavirus cases and about 35,000 people have been killed by the disease.

The German government has emphasized that vaccines would be in short supply at the beginning and that it was necessary to prioritize. Citizens over 80 years of age as well as staff and residents of old people's and nursing homes are among the first group to get inoculated.

The first 1.3 million vaccine doses were delivered to Germany at the end of 2020. The government plans to distribute 670,000 vaccine doses every week from January 2021 onwards.

Government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said during a press conference on Monday that Germany's vaccination program was a "joint effort" of the German and federal state governments with the aim of achieving vaccination "as good as possible, as fair as possible and as quick as possible."

Due to high infection numbers and death rates, the European country already entered a national lockdown with strict contact restrictions and closures of bars, restaurants and leisure facilities to last until at least Jan. 10. However, an extension of the lockdown is becoming increasingly likely.

Chancellor Angela Merkel and heads of Germany's federal states are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to decide on further steps to counteract the spread of COVID-19 in the country.



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