Germany puts nursing homes, over 80s 1st in line

BERLIN — A panel of medical experts in Germany is recommending that nursing home residents, people over 80 and key medical personnel in acute and elderly care should receive coronavirus vaccines first when they become available.

A draft recommendation released Monday defines some 8.6 million people who would receive a vaccine first. That’s over 10% of the German population.

According to the 62-page document, only once those groups have been immunized and if vaccines are still limited should other high risk groups received the shot.

The draft, which still needs to be approved, has a total of six categories grouped according to their risk of serious illness from COVID-19 and the likelihood they might expose others. Teachers belong to the fourth category, while people working in key positions of government, in critical infrastructure and in small stores are in the fifth.

All other healthy individuals under 60 — an estimated 45 million people in the country of 83 million — would be last in line for a vaccine.

The expert panel says people who have recovered from a confirmed infection do not need to get immunized.