Germany’s COVID-19 vaccination plan aims to protect most vulnerable first

Germany’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn Friday announced a detailed plan for the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign, saying its first goal is to protect the most vulnerable.

All citizens over 80 years of age as well as residents and staff of nursing homes would be among the first to get vaccinated, Spahn said at a press conference.

As the vaccination of the first risk group would take at least one to two months before the vaccination program in Germany could be expanded, Spahn asked the German public to be patient.

“This means for all of us that there still is a long winter ahead. We will have to live with this virus for a long time,” said Spahn.

The coronavirus vaccine produced by German pharmaceutical company BioNTech and U.S. company Pfizer is expected to be approved by the European Medicines Agency next week. If approval is granted before Christmas, vaccinations in Germany could begin on Dec. 27, according to the German government.

Spahn has repeatedly stressed that there would not be enough vaccines at the beginning, making it necessary to prioritize. Spahn is scheduled to sign a corresponding vaccination decree on Friday that would set the order for immunizations in Germany.

By the end of January, 3 to 4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses would be made available across Germany, according to the Ministry of Health (BMG).

The doses would be distributed to the federal states according to their share of the population. For the entire first quarter, the BMG is expecting to provide 11 to 13 million vaccine doses in Germany.