By Sylvia Cunningham and Kate Brady
Berlin officials are working to open six vaccination centers by early next year in anticipation of a vaccine against COVID-19.
The news came as the European Commission reached a deal with U.S. pharmaceutical company Pfizer and German company BioNTech to secure 300 million doses of a vaccine they’ve announced is 90% effective.
But in an interview with public broadcaster ZDF, Berlin Mayor Michael Müller cautioned the rollout will take time.
He said older and at-risk people would get the vaccination first as well as people in critical professions, including doctors, nurses, police officers and firefighters.
Müller added the aim next year would be to vaccinate 20,000 people in Berlin each day.
The number of children in quarantine due to confirmed coronavirus cases at German schools is skyrocketing.
According to the German Teachers’ Association, more than 300,000 pupils and up to 30,000 teachers are currently in self-isolation.
The association’s president Heinz-Peter Meidinger told the tabloid Bild that as a result, schools are currently faced with what he describes as a “salami lockdown” — meaning the gradual closure of schools in stages or “slices” so to speak.
One conservative MP Christoph Ploß told Bild that all classrooms must be fitted with ventilation systems and plexiglas dividers as quickly as possible to curb the closures.
A recent survey finds 90% of Germans have no appetite to eat out during the Christmas holidays due to the pandemic.
The poll was conducted by e-commerce provider Lightspeed before November’s restrictions on gastronomy were announced.
However, the survey also found that only about one in seven of the respondents feared being infected by the coronavirus while dining out.
It’s not clear if restaurants will open back up next month.
This news is brought to you in cooperation with Berliner Rundfunk.