Germany orders more flu vaccine to protect healthcare system

BERLIN (Reuters)-The extra 6 million doses in Germany have been ordered to enable as many citizens as possible to be jabed to reduce their chances of flu and COVID-19 infections and secure the national healthcare system. BERLIN (Reuters)

Health Minister Jens Spahn said at a press conference on Wednesday that the world of 83 million will have a combined 26 million doses available.

"It's almost double the amount used last season," he added.

In Germany, vaccinations are free, and there are no proposals to adjust this for COVID-19 vaccines, said Spahn.

Yet it urged many who are perceived as particularly susceptible to the grip to preserve lives and keep a health sector from getting overwhelmed during the pandemic.

The largest number of new coronavirus infections since April is currently happening in Germany, with more than 5,000 on Tuesday.

Up to 9,700 citizens died in the nation of COVID-19.

Over the summer, the European Union encouraged Member States to undertake early and broader campaigns on influenza vaccination.

The Robert Koch Health Institute (RKI) said that between two and 14 million citizens in Germany are ill with influenza in the flu season.

According to RKI figures, about 25,000 people died of grip in the heavy season of 2017/18 for this region.

The new flu season has begun only marginally, with the improved hygiene steps clearly played a role because of COVID-19, according to RKI chief Lothar Wieler.

"We will keep the amount minimal if we try to get enough citizens vaccinated against flu," he added.

In the coming months, flu vaccination would be given.

For the first time in Germany, the special vaccination would be eligible at 500,000 doses for those older than 65.

Temporary gaps in distribution, however, the health minister said there is no stock shortage.

(Kirsti Knolle's report; Alkousaa and Jane Merriman's editing)