German Health Minister Says Vaccinations Further Along Than Thought

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday the nation has vaccinated millions more people than previously thought, thanks to some unreported vaccination numbers discovered by the Robert Koch Institute for Disease Control.

The institute says nearly 80% of adults in Germany are fully vaccinated, and about 84% have received at least one shot. Previous official reports were about 5% lower — meaning there are about 3.5 million more people vaccinated than had been reported. 

Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Spahn said the discrepancy was discovered in surveys conducted by the RKI that revealed additional vaccinations. He believes some big companies’ employee vaccination programs and mobile vaccination teams in nursing centers and elsewhere may account for those initially unreported.

The new RKI figures are based on surveys and do not include people under the age of 18, which is why the agency has yet to give a new overall number of vaccinated people in Germany.

Spahn said these new numbers are good news in terms of any new COVID-19 restrictions that might be contemplated in the coming months, barring any unforeseen new variants or surges of cases.  

“From today’s perspective, we will not need any further restrictions in autumn and winter to get through this time well without overburdening the health system,” he said.

Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.

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