The latest corona stats for Berlin (tallied Thursday, 11 March)
Berliners vaccinated with one vaccine dose: 6.7 per cent (6.5 per cent Wednesday)
New cases in one day: +553 (+489 Wednesday)
Total number of corona deaths: 2,928 (+10 over Wednesday)
🟢 R number: 0.65 (0.72 Wednesday)
🔴 New infections per week: 59.8/100,000 inhabitants (57.9 Wednesday)
🟡 Share of Berlin ICUs occupied by Covid-19 patients: 17.1 per cent (17.5 per cent Wednesday)
The lowdown ...
Docs ready to vaccinate now
An association of family doctors increased its criticism of health minister Jens Spahn, saying general practitioners are ready to begin vaccinating patients now and would do a better job. The country's vaccination centres are inefficient and expensive, and patients are scared off by the anonymity, Ulrich Weigeldt, head of the family doctor association, said in widespread reports. Spahn defended a Wednesday decision to first allow vaccinations in surgeries beginning mid-April because not enough vaccine is available but, he said, inocculation in doctor's offices would be like ketchup: at first not much comes out and then lots and lots. Weird flex.
J&J can wait!
And although the European Union's pharmaceutical watchdog approved Johnson & Johnson's single-shot vaccine Thursday, it won't be available in Germany until mid-to-late April, Spahn said on TV. The problem is with the supplier and the seemingly incapable negotiators at the European Union (who are organising vaccines for the bloc).
AstraZeneca still unpopular
Denmark, Noway and Iceland have at least temporarily halted the use of the less-effective AstraZeneca vaccine over fears of blood clots and Thailand is holding off on its rollout. The Swedish-UK maker of the drug says there's no evidence of the side-effects. While Biontech/Pfizer has an efficacy of 94 per cent, AstraZeneca is 70 per cent effective at halting corona infection.
In case you missed it ....
Ever cycled down one of Berlin's all-too-rare bike streets and wondered why you're sharing it with so many cars? It's because GPS systems don't care about the designation.
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That's all for now, folks. Stay safe!
The Berliner Zeitung English team