A 101-year-old woman in a nursing home was the first person in Germany to be vaccinated against coronavirus on Saturday, one day before the start of the official vaccination campaign in Germany and the EU.
Edith Kwoizalla was one of around 40 residents and 10 employees in a care home in eastern Saxony-Anhalt who received a shot of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, property manager Tobias Krueger told AFP.
The Pfizer BioNTech vaccine was the first to receive approval for use in the West when the UK approved on December 2nd.
When other nations followed, from the United States to Saudi Arabia to Singapore, Germany impatiently urged the EU medicines agency, the European Medicines Agency, to present its decision from December 29th.
The EMA gave the green light more than a week earlier on December 21.
That same night, the European Commission announced that the entire bloc would start vaccinating on Sunday, December 27th.
“Every day counts for us,” said Immo Kramer, an official at the vaccination center in the region, to the public television of the MDR.
On Saturday tens of thousands of vaccine doses were handed out to regional health authorities, who then distributed them to local vaccination centers.
Retirement home residents, people aged 80 and over and caregivers will be the first to get the sting.
Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn called it a “day of hope”.
“The vaccine is an essential key to fighting the pandemic,” he said at a press conference.
“It is the key that enables us to take our lives back,” but he warned that vaccinating everyone would be a “long-range” effort.
Germany, which seemed to do relatively well in the first coronavirus wave in spring, was hit hard by a second wave.
According to the latest data from the Robert Koch Institute, a total of 14,455 new infections and 240 new deaths have been reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths to 29,422.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)