A 101-year-old woman became the first person in Germany to receive a vaccine against coronavirus on Saturday. The woman, Edith Kwoizalla, received the first shot of Pfizer-BioNTech, a day ahead of the official start of the country's vaccination campaign.
Kwoizalla was one of around 40 residents and 10 staff in a care home in the eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt to receive a jab of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Yesterday, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said that trucks were on their way to deliver the vaccine to nursing homes, which are first in line to receive the vaccine.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of vaccine doses were delivered to the regional health authorities, who then distributed them to local vaccination centres.
Elderly care home residents, people aged 80 and over and care staff will be the first to get the jab.
The federal government is planning to distribute more than 1.3 million vaccine doses to local health authorities by the end of this year and about 700,000 per week from January.
Vaccinations will be free and available to everyone from mid-2021 when the priority groups are expected to have finished vaccination campaigns. There is no obligation to be inoculated, the German health minister said.
Pfizer-BioNTech has received approval for vaccination in several countries, including the UK, US, and Canada.
On December 21, the European Commission granted a conditional marketing authorisation (CMA) to Pfizer and BioNTech for active immunisation to prevent COVID-19. The European Commission said the entire bloc would start the inoculation operation from Sunday, December 27.
The vaccine will be marketed in the EU under the brand name COMIRNATY, which represents a combination of the terms COVID-19, mRNA, community, and immunity.