German health minister expects rapid decision on rules for vaccinated

German Health Minister Jens Spahn expressed optimism on Monday that both those who have been fully vaccinated and people who have recovered from Covid-19 could shortly expect to be freed from some of the country’s tough pandemic restrictions. 

A meeting of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s special corona cabinet on Monday is expected to consider a draft of the new rules, which are likely to include greater access to shops and other services.

Speaking in Berlin, Spahn said the rules could be implemented as early as this week if the government can rapidly reach a consensus.

The move to grant greater freedom to the three million who have recovered and those who are fully vaccinated comes amid signs of a decline in the number of new cases in the nation.

But while Germany’s vaccination programme has accelerated in recent weeks after a shambolic start, the number of fully vaccinated people represents only about 8 per cent of the total population.

Spahn also said that the prioritization of vaccination according to age and occupation could be lifted by June.

However, he warned that the end of prioritization did not mean that everyone can then be vaccinated immediately in June.

There could still be a waiting period depending on vaccine supplies, he said.

Spahn said he expects younger children – those over 12 – could be vaccinated in the coming months.

This comes after vaccination maker Biontech/Pfizer applied on Friday to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for approval of their coronavirus vaccination for children and adolescents aged 12 to 15.

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