Germany to offer Covid jabs to all adults from June 7
Germany will ditch its Covid vaccine priority list and start offering jabs to all adults from June 7, Health Minister Jens Spahn said Monday, as the inoculation drive in Europe's top economy gathers pace.
The move means anyone aged 16 and up will be eligible for a vaccine in Germany, scrapping the existing priority criteria based on age, jobs and pre-existing medical conditions.
Germany last week hit a fresh record when it vaccinated more than 1.35 million in a single day.
Spahn said Germany had been right to prioritise the most vulnerable at the start of the vaccination campaign, saying it had "saved lives".
But given the fast progress of the vaccination campaign, "we can now plan the next step", he added.
"Even when the priorisation is lifted that doesn't mean anyone who wants to can get vaccinated in June," he told reporters. Doctors and vaccination centres were still working their way through the current priority group, he said.
Several German states, including Berlin, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Bavaria, have already gone ahead and scrapped their priority lists from this week. That has left doctor's offices inundated with calls and emails from patients looking to get jabbed.
Germany is currently vaccinating priority group 3, which includes people over 60, those with pre-existing health concerns and people in frontline jobs such as supermarket staff, lawyers and bus drivers.