BERLIN – Germany is requesting vaccines for 2022 if regular or booster doses are needed to keep the population immune to Covid-19 variants, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Saturday amid growing frustration in Europe over the slow rate of vaccination.
Speaking at an online meeting with healthcare professionals, Spahn defended the progress made in obtaining and administering vaccines, saying that 2.3 million of the 83 million Germans have already received a dose.
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European governments have faced criticism about supply and production bottlenecks, as vaccine manufacturers AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna announced cuts in delivery volumes.
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Germany, Europe’s largest economy, was hurt by a second lockdown introduced in November, and many in the general public are looking with envy at the faster rate of vaccination in Britain, Israel and the United States.
Closed doors to Brazil
Germany has confirmed that it will veto, from Saturday, the entry of people from Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Portugal, South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland, countries considered to be highly contagious due to variants of the new coronavirus. The measure, valid until at least February 17, confirms an intention of the German government, revealed on Thursday, signaling that it will not wait for joint actions by the European Union to change its entry protocols.
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Europe, with more than 731,000 fatalities, is the region in the world that adds more deaths from the virus, and most of its countries are reinforcing their measures to contain the spread of the variants detected in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil.