- In Germany, lots of the immunizer started shipping to the 16 federal states also on Saturday.
- “It’s here, the good news at Christmas," German Health Minister Jens Spahn stated.
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a message posted on social media on Saturday said that the vaccine is being made available to all EU countries at the same time.
The first doses of the coronavirus vaccine produced by the partnership between the German laboratory Biontech and the American pharmaceutical company Pfizer began to arrive on Saturday morning to the member states of the European Union.
The first batches were received in Italy, Spain, Austria, France, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Holland.
In Germany, lots of the immunization started shipping to the 16 federal states also on Saturday, ahead of the country’s large-scale immunization program.
Hungary began vaccinating health workers this Saturday, hours after the country received the first doses.
“It’s here, the good news at Christmas,” German Health Minister Jens Spahn stated while addressing a news conference on Saturday. “At this moment, trucks are underway across Europe, across Germany and its regions, to deliver the first vaccine.
More deliveries will follow the day after tomorrow. This vaccine is the decisive key to end this pandemic.”“It is the key to getting our lives back,” Spahn added.
“Moment of Unity”
On the eve of the start of vaccinations across the European Union, the European Commission described the launch of the vaccination campaign as “a touching moment of unity”.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a message posted on social media on Saturday said that the vaccine is being made available to all EU countries at the same time and people are going to start taking the vaccine in Athens, Rome, Helsinki and Sofia and the other places at ago.
She added that the vaccinations will help Europe citizens to resume their normal lives gradually and called on the 450 million EU residents to maintain precautions to help prevent the spread of the pandemic.
Von der Leyen said he hoped other vaccines would be approved by the bloc’s regulatory authorities, and that sufficient doses were assured to inoculate all EU residents in the coming months.
The European Union, which approved the vaccine from the partnership between Biontech and Pfizer earlier this week, has secured more than 300 million doses of the inoculant from the two companies.
Initially, tens of thousands of doses are being sent this Saturday by Biontech to 27 locations in all 16 states of Germany. The doses are then distributed to vaccination centers and mobile teams, which will start the first vaccinations on Sunday.
The first group scheduled to be vaccinated in Germany is the elderly over 80 years old, residents of asylums, those in need of special care and their caregivers. Doctors and nurses who are very exposed to the coronavirus are also in this first group.
The authorities forecast that between 11 and 12 million doses of the vaccine will be available by March, which would be enough to vaccinate between 5.5 and 6 million people, since the immuniztion has to be administered in two doses.
The German government hopes to be able to make vaccination against coronavirus available to all residents of the country by the beginning of the second half.
Like in many parts of the world, Germany is in the middle of a second wave of the pandemic, which began in October.
The Christmas holiday did not slow the spread of the virus. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the government agency for the control and prevention of infectious diseases, registered on Saturday 14,455 new cases in the last 24 hours.
The figure is less than half that recorded a week ago. However, RKI warns that during the Christmas holiday, not only were fewer tests performed, but less data was reported by regional health centers.
The country recorded 1.6 million cases and almost 30 thousand deaths due to covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.