According to The New York Times, in Germany, in a nursing home in the eastern part of Saxony-Anhalt, they decided not to wait for the official start of vaccination and on Saturday gave the first vaccination to a 101-year-old woman. On the same day, vaccinations began in Hungary and Slovakia.
On Sunday, dozens of minibuses with refrigerators departed for nursing homes in Berlin. The storage temperature of the vaccine should not exceed minus 70 degrees Celsius. In Germany, vaccination began at a time when the country was experiencing a peak in the incidence. In the week before Christmas, about 1,000 deaths were recorded here every day. The crematorium in eastern Saxony was open around the clock, even on holidays.
“I’ve never seen it as bad as it is now,” says Evelyn Müller, director of the crematorium in Görlitz.
The largest vaccination campaign in human history is expected to be in full swing by the new year. However, drug shortages, logistical difficulties, misinformation and public skepticism will create obstacles in the fight against the pandemic, the newspaper writes.
“Today we are starting to turn the page of a difficult year. - wrote on Twitter the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. "The vaccine against COVID-19 has been delivered to all EU countries."
The Greeks call the national vaccination campaign Operation Freedom. As in most European countries, they are skeptical about coronavirus vaccines. The authorities are trying to convince those who hesitate to get vaccinated.
In Italy, where the situation at the beginning of the pandemic was a warning to the rest of the world, and now the death toll from the coronavirus is again hitting sad records, a 29-year-old nurse volunteered to be vaccinated first. “This is the beginning of the end,” said nurse Claudia Alivernini after being vaccinated early in the morning at Rome's Spallanzani hospital.
EU member states have shown unity by awaiting official vaccine approval together and launching coordinated campaigns. In different countries, the vaccination will have some peculiarities associated with local specifics, but they will be vaccinated everywhere free of charge. In the first phase, people from the groups at greatest risk of infection - health workers and the elderly - and those with health problems will be vaccinated.
Last week, BioNTech chief Ugur Shahin was asked how long it can take before life returns to normal, and he replied that even with universal vaccination, the virus will pose a threat until the end of the decade.
“We need a new definition of normal,” Ugur ahin told reporters, adding that with enough vaccine, quarantine measures could be lifted early next year.
“This year we will not affect the number of people infected,” said Mr. Shahin. "But we need to be sure that next year we will have enough vaccine to bring the situation back to normal."