BERLIN — Germany’s health minister urged people to get vaccinated against flu this year, to avoid a surge in hospitalizations amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Jens Spahn says vulnerable people in particular should get the flu shot, adding that Germany has ordered 27 million doses of influenza vaccine this year.
“Don’t take the flu lightly just because of the coronavirus,” Spahn said at a news conference in Berlin.
Germany’s independent vaccine panel has said both the shots against flu and the coronavirus can be administered at the same time.
Germany often has low vaccination rates against flu compared to other developed countries, and is also lagging in Europe when it comes to the COVID-19 shot.
Official figures show 64.8% of the population is fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The government says it is aiming for a rate of 75%.
Germany’s disease control agency, the Robert Koch Institute, reported 11,547 newly confirmed COVID-19 infections Monday, and 76 deaths. Since the start of the outbreak, almost 94,000 people have died in connection with the coronavirus.