BERLIN, May 10 (Xinhua) -- Germany is to make Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine available to all adults by removing a priority system that determines who gets the jabs first, Minister of Health Jens Spahn announced at a press conference here on Monday.
The move follows the lifting of restrictions on AstraZeneca's vaccine last week. The decision announced on Monday would enable "continued pragmatic and speedy work in this vaccination campaign," said Spahn.
Unlike most other vaccines, Johnson & Johnson's only requires one dose for full immunization.
More than 7.8 million people in Germany had already been fully vaccinated by Sunday, bringing the country's vaccination rate to 9.4 percent, according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). A total of 27.3 million people have received at least one vaccine dose.
By the beginning of June, all people aged 60 years and above in Germany who want to get vaccinated for COVID-19 would have received the jab, according to Spahn. However, Johnson & Johnson is expected to deliver larger quantities of its vaccine in June and July only. In this quarter, Germany expects to receive more than ten million vaccine doses from Johnson & Johnson.
"It remains important that we keep up the pace of this vaccination campaign, and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is also important for this," said Spahn.
To date, almost 3.53 million COVID-19 infections have been officially registered in Germany since the outbreak of the pandemic. The death toll climbed to 84,829 on Monday, according to the RKI.