Germany misses vaccination target for over 80-year-olds

According to the latest evaluations, Germany has missed the EU vaccination target for people over 80 years of age. This is proven by data from the RKI. And: Germany is not alone in this.

Germany and many other countries have missed the EU vaccination target for people over 80 years according to the latest data. The EU Commission’s goal was for at least 80 percent of this age group to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of March. According to the Robert Koch Institute, reported data from German federal states are significantly lower. According to the health authority ECDC, this quota is also far from being reached across the EU.

As the RKI announced on Wednesday (March 31) at the request of the German Press Agency, the value for the first vaccination for people over 80 years of age is between 59 percent for the North Rhine region in North Rhine-Westphalia and 79.5 percent for Schleswig-Holstein. Even fewer people in this group are fully protected with two doses of vaccine – between 26 percent in Schleswig Holstein and 47 percent in Lower Saxony. There is no nationwide vaccination quota for this age group, as the data are only available from nine federal states, it said.

In mid-January, Ursula von der Leyen’s EU Commission set its goals. By March, the EU states should therefore vaccinate at least 80 percent of the staff in health and social professions and those over 80; by summer it should be at least 70 percent of adults. Chancellor Angela Merkel says that all citizens in Germany should be offered a vaccination by the end of the summer. Sufficient vaccine for the March target had been delivered to the EU states, a spokeswoman for the EU Commission emphasized on Tuesday.

Vaccination in Europe should be coordinated more precisely

“Achieving these two goals would, in a first step, lead to a lower number of deaths and hospital admissions and to relieve the burden on the health systems and create the conditions for herd immunity in Europe,” said the EU Commission in January. The Brussels authority also emphasized that it was important “for reasons of health protection as well as the internal market” to coordinate vaccination efforts in Europe. At that time, initial data indicated considerable differences in the EU countries.

This trend is now confirmed. According to the latest ECDC data, almost 60 percent of people over 80 years of age across the EU received the first dose, and only one in three was fully vaccinated. However, some EU states – including Germany – do not report the data to the EU authorities broken down by age group.

With regard to the entire vaccination protection with two syringes, the EU target was not achieved in any member country, according to the data. Malta (almost 70 percent), Denmark (52) and Slovenia (47) lead. Bulgaria (0.7 percent) and Latvia (0.6) bring up the rear. There is a shortage of vaccines in both countries because Astrazeneca is clearly behind schedule. In Bulgaria, those over 80 years of age do not have priority in vaccination either. Malta, Ireland, Sweden and Finland achieved the 80 percent target for the first vaccination. Portugal and Denmark are just below that.

Von der Leyen did not make any explicit statements

Of the staff in health professions, an average of 60 percent were vaccinated at least once. However, these data are only reported to the ECDC by 13 EU countries. The EU authority emphasizes that the data of the current week should always be viewed with caution and could be changed later. The RKI also has no data on staff in health and social professions for Germany.

At their video summit in January, the EU countries had expressly backed the goal for the summer, as von der Leyen and EU Council Chairman Charles Michel made clear at the time. Both of them did not expressly comment on the target for the end of March.

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