Despite the country’s incredibly sluggish vaccine roll-out, a number of vaccination centres in some German states are planning to close for Easter, prompting criticism from the German press.
“Chancellor Merkel and numerous experts are warning of the third corona wave. Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate was the motto,” writes the nation’s largest-selling tabloid, Bild.
“And Germany? In some vaccination centres, prefer to take an Easter break.”
Vaccine sites in Brandenburg, Thuringia and Saarland will be shut on at least some days over the long weekend, with centres in the states of Baden-Württemberg and Rhineland-Palatinate potentially being closed dependent on their vaccine supply.
Jabs will continue in the states of Bremen, Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia, according to reports.
With just 15 per cent of its population vaccinated, Germany faces an uphill battle as its political leaders sound the alarm about an inevitable third wave with infection rates rising across the European mainland.
The nation’s vaccine procurement process has been significantly hampered by Brussels’ bungled attempt to take the lead on securing jabs on behalf of all member states, and disinformation circulated across the bloc regarding the efficacy of Britain’s Oxford AstraZeneca jab has resulted in a sense of distrust in the jab, causing a real headache for political leaders.
Angela Merkel suffered the ignominy of a political U-turn last week after backtracking on a proposed lockdown over the Easter weekend, inevitably leading some to question why the federal government would reverse a lockdown only for state executives to shut down the vaccination roll-out.
Torsten Krauel, chief commentator for German newspaper De Welt, ridiculed the decision to close vaccination centres, questioning “how can that be at the beginning of the third wave? It sounds like daily grind and junk, it looks like a television blackout in the middle of a Bundesliga Saturday, like a holy weekend for the fire brigade when the church roof is on fire on Sundays.”
He slammed political leaders, stating the enforced Easter break “leads to impatience that is as widespread as it is understandable.”
Meanwhile, Brexit Britain surpassed 30 million jabs at the weekend – 57 per cent of its adult population.