A 101-year-old woman became the first German to receive a vaccine against the coronavirus on Saturday, a day ahead of the official start of the country’s vaccination campaign, local broadcaster MDR reported.
The woman, from Halberstadt in the Harz hill range, lives in a care home for elderly people, where 40 residents as well as 11 staff were vaccinated, MDR reported.
German Health Minister Jens Spahn said earlier on Saturday that trucks were on their way to deliver the vaccine to nursing homes, which are first in line to receive the vaccine.
The federal government is planning to distribute more than 1.3 million vaccine doses to local health authorities by the end of this year and about 700,000 per week from January.
“There may be a few hiccups at one point or another in the beginning, but that is quite normal when such a logistically complex process begins,” Spahn said.
Germany, with a population of 83 million, has built up more than 400 vaccination centres, including in venues like Berlin’s former Tegel and Tempelhof airports and Hamburg’s trade fair hall.
Vaccinations will be free and available to everyone from mid-2021, when the priority groups are expected to have finished vaccination campaigns. There is no obligation to be inoculated.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Germany rose by 14,455 to 1,627,103, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Saturday. More than 29,000 people in total have died.