When Germany began its 5 step process out of the lockdown on March 8, it was already clear that the third wave was starting. Less than 2 weeks later, infections are on the rise again and Germany’s terribly slow vaccination program is not helping. The lockdown, which was extended to March 28, and, in light of the current statistics, will likely be extended at the next meeting on March 22, is meeting with more resistance as frustrations with restrictions are growing, as shown by protests and demonstrations nationwide show.
The German government will be relinquishing its monopoly on the vaccine. The welcome decision has been made for GPs and company doctors to also vaccinate from mid-April. The vaccine shortage, however, still remains a challenge. Vaccination by GPs and company doctors was initially scheduled for the end of March/beginning of April, but vaccine delivery woes have made it necessary to push back the date. Until then, vaccinations will continue to be done at special testing centers as well as by mobile units for elderly people who are homebound. GPs and company doctors can only speed up the vaccination process to the extent that the vaccine is available.
Vaccination is free for both publicly and privately insured persons. According to an ordinance issued by the Federal Ministry of Health, the federal government pays for the vaccine, while the costs of setting up and organizing the vaccination centers are borne by the federal states and the public and private health insurance funds. Furthermore, the federal government is responsible for vaccinations carried out in medical practices.
Meanwhile, Germany will be looking to become independent from vaccine producers and plans to produce enough of the vaccine to cover its needs without having to rely on imports.
Following the approval by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, rapid tests are now available from supermarkets and drug stores for self-testing. Furthermore, from March 15, all Germans are entitled to one free rapid test a week. Tests can be carried out at pharmacies or designated testing centers. Employers who wish to test their (willing) employees or retailers and restaurants to test their customers, must pay for the tests themselves.
According to a survey carried out in January and February 2021, about 67% of the 1000 respondents definitely want to be vaccinated. 13,2% would be somewhat willing to get it, 3,9% definitely do not want the vaccine, 4,2% are inclined to not getting vaccinated and just under 12% are undecided. The next survey results from the period of February 22 to March 8, are expected soon.
COVID-19 vaccine considerations for Germany
- Can employers mandate the vaccine?
- Who will control delivery of the vaccine?
- Who covers the cost of the vaccine?
- Where will people get vaccinated?
Government designated vaccination locations
- Is there cultural resistance to getting the vaccine?
More InformationProfion, Asinta's partner in Germany.
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Page last modified: March 15, 2021
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