Germany’s mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign has prevented 38,000 deaths in the last six months and a half, according to a study by the country’s public health body.
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A new report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) found that vaccinations during Europe’s third wave of the coronavirus outbreak also prevented over 706,000 possible new infections in Germany.
“The high effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign shows in an impressive way that vaccinations pave the way out of the pandemic,” RKI said in a statement.
On July 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the number of new cases in Europe rose by 10 percent in the last week of June, ending a 10-week decline in infections that was previously recorded.
Infections soared across the continent due to new variants, increased travel, gatherings, and the easing of social restrictions, the WHO’s regional director for Europe Hans Klug told reporters at the time.
“This is taking place in the context of a rapidly evolving situation. A new variant of concern – the Delta variant – and in a region where, despite tremendous efforts by member states, millions remain unvaccinated,” Klug said.
However, Germany’s vaccination campaign prevented more than 76,000 hospitalizations between January and July, the new study found.
About 20,000 people would have been admitted to intensive care units had they not been inoculated against the virus, the RKI report showed.
More than 45 million people, or 54.5 percent of Germans, have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn.
A total of 51.8 million people in Germany – 62.3 percent of the country’s population – has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the health minister said on Twitter on Saturday.
“Vaccination is a personal decision - but also one that affects all of us as a community. Each individual decides how well we can all get through autumn and winter,” Spahn wrote.
Four vaccines have been approved for use in Germany so far, including: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, and Oxford-AstraZeneca.