Anyone in Germany aged 12 and above wanting to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 can now ask for an appointment with the end of the prioritisation of jabs, which had until Monday limited the inoculation to those over 60 and up and certain priority groups.
However, there won’t be enough doses for everyone just yet, dpa news agency.
Top German doctors and Health Minister Jens Spahn have urged people to be patient as the prioritisation ends.
At the same time, more than 6,000 company doctors are starting their own vaccination programmes.
The head of the German Association of Towns and Municipalities, Gerd Landsberg, said that the lifting of vaccination prioritization would lead to disillusionment among many people.
“Disappointment and frustration are pre-programmed into the process, as not enough vaccine is immediately available,” he told the Rheinische Post newspaper.
General practitioners also dampened expectations, with Ulrich Weigeldt, chairperson of the German GP Association, telling Funke Mediengruppe newspapers that “the vaccine is still too scarce, compared to the high demand, and will continue to be delivered too unreliably”.
So far, appointments for Covid-19 vaccinations in Germany had been assigned in prioritisation groups, which were primarily based on citizens’ age, previous illnesses and occupation.
Last week, the BioNTech-Pfizer Covid jab received the first authorisation in the European Union (EU) for adolescents and the German government decided that children over the age of 12 years could sign up for vaccination.
More than 15.6 million people in Germany have been fully vaccinated till date, bringing the country’s vaccination rate to 18.8 per cent, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).
Almost 36.5 million Germans have already received at least one dose of a vaccine.