A young man enters a vaccination centre in Berlin's Mitte district on August 2, 2021, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Tobias SCHWARZ / AFP)
Germany's disease control center estimates that coronavirus vaccines have saved the lives of more than 38,000 people in the country.
The Robert Koch Institute said Saturday that according to a model calculation, mass vaccinations in the last 6 1/2 months also kept 76,000 COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and almost 20,000 people out of intensive care units. Germany's vaccine drive also prevented more than 706,000 confirmed cases this year, the institute said.
‘The high effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign shows in an impressive way that vaccinations pave the way out of the pandemic,’ the institute said in a statement.
Germany started vaccinating residents against the virus in late 2020, and more than 45 million people have been fully vaccinated, or 54.5% of the population. Some 51.8 million, or 62.3%, have received at least one shot, German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Saturday.
But after a sluggish start that only really gained traction from March onward, the country's vaccination rate has dropped in recent weeks. Officials worry of a fourth wave of infections as travelers return from summer vacations and schools start to open again with most children and teenagers still unvaccinated.