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On COVID vaccine: Scholz tells Germans 'Be like the Danish'

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By Reuters
On COVID vaccine: Scholz tells Germans 'Be like the Danish'
On COVID vaccine: Scholz tells Germans 'Be like the Danish'   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2022

BERLIN – Germans could learn a lesson from Denmark’s high COVID-19 vaccination rate, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday, calling on more Germans – particularly older people – to get vaccinated so the country can ease restrictions.

“I’m impressed with the vaccination rate there. We can still learn a lesson,” Scholz told a joint news conference with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.

Around 76% of the population in Germany has received at least one dose of a vaccine – fewer than many other western European countries and far from Denmark’s 83% rate.

Some 99.7% of Danish over 60 have had two doses, this compares to 89.4% in Germany, data by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed.

“It would be very nice if our vaccination rate would also move in the direction of the Danish,” Scholz said, adding that he was particularly impressed by the high number of older people in Denmark who are vaccinated and have received a booster shot.

“That would also give us more possibilities,” he added.

Last month, Denmark announced the most far-reaching easing of COVID-19 curbs yet seen among the Nordic countries.

With the Omicron wave expected to peak in Germany next week, the country’s regional leaders could discuss loosening rules in their next meeting on Feb. 16, federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Monday.

But Lauterbach cautioned against relaxing measures too quickly, citing Germany’s relatively low rate of vaccination.