German health ministers endorse booster jabs for all

COVID-19 booster

Germany’s regional health ministers on Friday called for COVID booster jabs for all as the country scrambles to tackle a surging fourth wave of infections.

“The federal states agree that everyone who had their second jab six months ago or longer should be able to get an appropriate booster,” Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek told a press conference.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn has also called for booster jabs for all, but the Stiko vaccine commission has so far recommended them only for those aged over 70 or with preexisting health conditions.

Germany registered 37,120 new infections in the past 24 hours on Friday, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) health agency—a record rise for the second day running.

The health ministers from Germany’s 16 states had met for two days of talks on how to tackle the alarming trend, which comes as Germany is in political limbo following September’s general election.

The incoming coalition parties, aiming to form a government by early December, have so far ruled out mandatory jabs and said there will be no new lockdowns—at least not for the vaccinated.

But with just 67 percent of the population fully inoculated and intensive care beds filling rapidly, calls are growing for action to tackle the upward curve.

Several of Germany’s states, which have significant powers to decide their own COVID approach, have already agreed or introduced restrictions for the unvaccinated.

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