BERLIN — The rapid rise in coronavirus cases means that anyone in the country who is not vaccinated is likely to contract COVID-19 by the end of winter, and some will die, Germany’s health minister said on Monday.
Official figures showed more than 30,000 new confirmed cases in Germany in the last 24 hours – an increase of about 50% from a week ago. Hospitals warned that intensive care unit capacities were nearly exhausted and some patients had to be transferred to other clinics far away.
Health Minister Jens Spahn urged Germans to get vaccinated, including booster vaccines if their first vaccination took place more than six months ago to reduce the risk of serious illness.
“By the end of this winter, almost everyone (…) in Germany will have been vaccinated, recovered or died,” Spahn told reporters in Berlin.
He conceded that some described this view as cynical. ‘But it’s true. With the highly contagious delta variant, this is very, very likely and that is why we recommend vaccination so urgently,” Spahn said.
Germany said it expects the European Union to approve vaccines against COVID-19 for children aged 5-11 by the weekend. School-age children have the highest infection rates in the country.
Spahn said the EU will start shipping adjusted vaccines for young children on December 20, with Germany initially receiving 2.4 million doses.