Germany vaccine crisis as ‘thousands’ of ‘fraudulent’ attempts to jump jab queue

Coronavirus 'unlikely to have occurred naturally' says expert

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It follows the announcement that those fully vaccinated will be released from many lockdown restrictions. Germany’s vaccination programme began slowly but has gathered pace over the past couple of weeks.

Around a third of the population has received at least one Covid-19 jab, versus over 50 percent for Britain.

However, less than 10 percent are fully vaccinated as opposed to 27 percent in the UK.

There has been a surge in demand for coronavirus vaccines after the announcement on restrictions was made.

According to The Times authorities in Hamburg uncovered 2,000 attempts to jump the vaccine queue.

German public broadcaster SWR reported a further 350 cases a week in Munich and 140 per week in Saarbrücken.

Many of these are falsely claiming to be carers for people who are deemed vulnerable to coronavirus.

Karl Kranich, from the German Red Cross, appealed to the conscience of those considering a false claim.

He said: “There are no in-depth checks.

“We assume that everyone who has an appointment has done it in good conscience.

“They have to consider, and this is a moral issue; if they’re jumping the queue, they may have taken something away from somebody who needs it more urgently than them.”

Germany has reported over 85,000 coronavirus-related deaths and 3.6 million cases since the pandemic began.

On Monday the German government made the Johnson & Johnson vaccine available for all age groups.

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There had been some hesitancy around the jab after extremely rare reports of blood clots in the United States.

A similar decision was made over the weekend with the Oxford University designed AstraZeneca vaccine.

Jens Spahn, the German health minister, said this has triggered a huge surge in demand.

He said: “We saw one thing over the weekend.

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“There is huge demand for AstraZeneca, and I am sure it will be the same for Johnson & Johnson.”

However whilst in theory the vaccines have been made more available shortages remain in practice.

The German Red Cross reported it received 1.8 million calls after 36,000 appointments were made available in the state of Saxony.

This increased enthusiasm is encouraging authorities in a country that has suffered serious problems from vaccine scepticism.

Steffen Jürgensen, who runs the Stuttgart Clinic, said: “The positive side of it is that the readiness and willingness to get vaccinated are very high.”

He also claimed more people were being denied jabs because of mistakes on their paperwork than deliberate attempts to jump the queue.
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