INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA – NOVEMBER 8: A man receives his second vaccination at a vaccination center on November 8, 2021 in Innsbruck, Austria. (Photo: Jan Hetfleisch / Getty Images)
- Austria has imposed a lockout on about two million people who have not been fully vaccinated.
- Austria has one of the highest infection rates on the continent, with a seven-day incidence of 925 per 100,000 people.
- In Germany, 436,000 people were vaccinated on Tuesday, 300,000 of whom were booster.
Wednesday’s figures showed that Germans and Austrians are rushing to take vaccinations against the coronavirus as infections increase and governments impose restrictions on those who are not vaccinated.
Germany and Austria have the lowest vaccination rates in Western Europe and are now at the center of a new wave of pandemics as winter takes over the continent.
According to the German Ministry of Health, 436,000 people were vaccinated on Tuesday, including 300,000 booster vaccines, the highest number in about three months. Queues around the country have formed in vaccination centers.
“It’s a sign that many citizens have recognized the need,” government spokesman Steffen Seibert said. But he added that the vaccination rate was not yet high enough.
About 65% of the Austrian population has been fully vaccinated against the virus and about 68% of the German population, which lags far behind countries such as Italy and Spain, which are much more affected by the initial waves of the pandemic.
Sabine Dittmar, a German Social Democrat health expert, said she hoped 1.4 million people could be vaccinated a day if the vaccines were given in companies, by family doctors and mobile vaccination teams, and in vaccination centers.
According to official data, the number of vaccines given daily in Austria rose to around 73,000 last week, from around 20,000 in October, although most of them were booster vaccines and not primary vaccines.
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Austria has imposed a lockout on about two million people who have not been fully vaccinated. It is one of the highest infection rates on the continent, with a seven-day incidence of 925 per 100,000 people, compared with 320 in Germany. The total number of deaths caused by its pandemic is 11,848.
Neighboring Switzerland, which has not imposed restrictions on non-vaccinators, has not succeeded in the new vaccination period – it only got 35,000 to take its first vaccine last week.
Part of Germany – including the capital Berlin – is demanding evidence of vaccination or a recent recovery from Covid-19 for all indoor leisure activities, a restriction that could be extended nationally at a meeting of officials on Thursday.
Germany also plans to force people using public transport or going to work to submit a negative Covid-19 test or evidence of recovery or vaccination.
The coronavirus situation in Germany is dramatic, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday.
Germany reported 52,826 new infections on Wednesday, a third increase from the previous week and a second daily record, while 294 people died, bringing the total death toll to 98,274.
“It’s not too late to choose the first vaccine,” Merkel said at a congress of German mayors. “Everyone who is vaccinated protects themselves and others. And if enough people are vaccinated, it is the way out of a pandemic.
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