German politicians and associations are promoting vaccinations against the Coronavirus (COVID-19) with increased energy, as the new school year draws closer and as interest fades in the jab.
Social Democrat (SPD) chancellor candidate Olaf Scholz said people who had already been vaccinated should do more to encourage others to follow suit.
“We have to convince our friends to get vaccinated.
“This is a matter that touches every one of us,’’ said Scholz, a finance minister, in comments to the Funke-Mediengruppe.
Meanwhile SPD leader Saskia Esken and the German Association of Cities called for vaccination campaigns at schools once the new academic year begins.
The dates of school summer holidays differ from one state to the next but in-person teaching begins in the first states next week.
Esken said she supported mobile vaccination teams at schools, in comments to Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND).
There were already some plans in place, with school pupils aged 12 and above to be vaccinated at schools by mobile teams in the state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Officials were assessing the situation in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and planned to send mobile vaccination teams to inoculate 16- and 17-year-olds.
Hamburg plans mobile vaccination services for vocational school students.
So far, a good 51 per cent of the German public was fully vaccinated, but scientists said this was not enough to prevent a fourth wave of cases, especially given the more transmissible Delta variant.
The pace of vaccination was also slowing, with some half a million doses generally administered on any given day, down from 1.5 million in May and June.
Case numbers in Germany were also rising, although the seven day incidence rate of cases per 100,000 people over a week was low at 15.
Left Party politicians called for other actors to join the campaign, such as trade unions, sports associations, religious communities, clubs and cultural institutions, in a paper seen by RND.
The Central Council of Muslims in Germany also called on the faithful to be vaccinated, saying there were no religious reasons to avoid the jab.
“On the contrary, the protection of others against diseases and one’s own health integrity are highly valued in Islam,’’ Central Council chairman Aiman Mazyek said.