Germany appears to have ‘broken’ 3rd wave of Covid, says health minister, as 900k vaccine shots administered in one day

Germany’s health minister has suggested that country has beaten the third wave of Covid-19, which prompted authorities to bring in new restrictions on social distancing, as the pace of vaccinations increases.

Speaking on Friday, Health Minister Jens Spahn told a regular weekly news briefing that social distancing measures and inoculations had contributed to falling rates of Covid-19 around the country. “The trend has been confirmed. The third wave seems broken,” the minister stated. 

Spahn insisted that government would not act hastily and that the risk of a resurgent virus was still very real. The minister noted that any socializing is best conducted outdoors, and that the country needs to continue high-volume testing.

He called on Germans to hold out until the end of May, noting “now it's a matter of holding out for a few more weeks, maybe a few months. That would make a crucial difference.” 

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The head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases, Lothar Wieler, who accompanied Spahn, said that the infection rate was lowering. RKI states that the seven-day incidence rate is 125.7 cases per 100,000 people, down from the previous week. On April 29, the incident rate stood at 155 per 100,000 people. 

The pace of vaccinations has picked up in the nation of 83 million people. On Thursday, 900,000 people received a shot, with 31.5% of the population now having received at least one dose. 

In an attempt to accelerate the program further, Spahn announced on Thursday that the AstraZeneca shot could now be given to all adults, marking a U-turn on a previous decision to limit its use amid fears the jab could cause blood clots in young people.

“A million AstraZeneca will be delivered to general practitioners next week alone. It is better to be vaccinated with it than not at all,” Spahn stated.

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