BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel implored Germans on Sunday to make use of a week-long COVID-19 vaccination campaign in which people can get a free jab at mosques, shops and football pitches.
Worried that Germany’s vaccination rate of around 62% will not be sufficient to stave off a winter wave of COVID-19 infections, especially due to the dominant Delta variant, the government is making a big push to encourage waverers.
“Never was it simpler to get a vaccination. Never has it been quicker,” Merkel said in her weekly podcast, adding people could from Monday get a dose without an appointment on public transport and at places of worship and sports facilities.
Some 4 million people in Germany have suffered from COVID-19 and more than 90,000 people have died.
Merkel said while it was good that some 66% of the population have had one dose and 62% are fully vaccinated, case numbers were rising and most people who are hospitalised are not vaccinated.
“To get through autumn and winter, we must convince more people to get vaccinated,” she said. “I ask you: protect yourself and other people. Get vaccinated.”