Germany has vaccinated millions more people against the coronavirus than previously thought, the country’s health minister said Thursday.
Almost 80% of adults in Germany are fully vaccinated and about 84% have received at least one shot, according to the country’s disease control center, the Robert Koch Institute. That’s some 3.5 million people higher than previously stated.
“The discrepancy between the numbers that had been reported so far and those that the Robert Koch Institute now found out about in surveys is due to the fact that some vaccinations may not have been reported,” Health Minister Jens Spahn told reporters in Berlin.
He added that vaccinations of employees at big companies and those given shots by mobile vaccination teams in nursing centers and elsewhere, in particular, may not have been fully reported.
The new figures by the Robert Koch Institute are based on surveys and did not include people under the age of 18, which is why the agency did not yet give a new overall number of vaccinated people in Germany, but has so far only adjusted the number of vaccinated adults. Anybody aged 12 and older is eligible for a coronavirus vaccination in Germany.
Spahn said the higher-than-thought number of fully vaccinated people in Germany would give the country more security in the pandemic as fall and winter are approaching—a period during which people spend more time inside leading to possible higher COVID-19 infection rates again.
While the health minister warned it was still too early to stop wearing face masks inside or on public transportation, he suggested it would be fine to no longer wear masks outside.
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