Germany is experiencing “exponential” growth of COVID-19 infections and may have to go “backwards” before lockdown measures are decreased, German officials warned Friday.
Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in Germany, just weeks after they eased lockdown restrictions.
The country is delivering additional doses to regions on the French and Czech borders as it seeks to resume its vaccination campaign after a three-day pause in using the AstraZeneca shot amid blood clot fears.
Now that the AstraZeneca shot has been proven safe, German Chancellor Angela Markel said Friday, “The motto is ‘vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.'”
As of Friday, only 8.5% of the population had received their first dose of the vaccine.
“I think we have a good chance of offering a vaccine to every resident by the end of the summer,” Merkel said. “I would get vaccinated with AstraZeneca.”
Health Minister Jens Spahn warned earlier on Friday that the vaccinations alone will not be enough to contain the third wave of the pandemic, and said that some more severe lockdown restrictions may have to be reinstated.
“The rising case numbers may mean that we cannot take further opening steps in the weeks to come. On the contrary, we may even have to take steps backwards,” Spahn said.
Merkel and state leaders are scheduled to meet again on Monday to discuss potentially extending lockdown restrictions that have been in place since December, as well as the reversal of plans to gradually re-open the economy.
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