Europe

COVID-19 booster shots already underway in several countries

Countries across Europe and the Middle East are starting to offer a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for the most vulnerable, in an attempt to combat the spread of the Delta variant.

In Germany, state health ministers have decided to start offering booster shots for vulnerable groups starting from September.

People who got vaccinated with the AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be able to get a refresher shot with an mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

Germany will also begin offering vaccinations for its youngest population of teenagers aged 12 and older.

A booster shot program already underway in Israel

Israel has become the first country to start its booster shot program, as vaccination centres started to distribute shots on Sunday.

The Israeli government is offering a third dose to people over 60 years old to curb the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Israel has a population of 9.3 million, and more than 80% of people aged 16 or older have received two vaccine doses.

Attacks on vaccination centres in Poland

The Polish government strongly condemned an arson attack on a COVID-19 vaccination centre in the south east of the country, promising to fight against hatred toward medical workers.

According to local police, the attack was incited by an online disinformation campaign.

CCTV footage shows a masked man setting a mobile vaccination unit on fire and started another blaze at a local office of the state epidemiological service.

The unknown perpetrator fled the crime scene on a bicycle.

Health minister Adam Niedzielski, visiting the scene of the attack in the town of Zamosc, described it as an “attack on the Polish state”. The incident took place in the early hours of Monday morning.

“It was an act of terror. An act of terror, which is directed not only at those who work at the the centre, but also an act of terror against the state,” he said.

In Gdynia, a group of anti-vaccination protesters also verbally harassed workers at a vaccination point, calling them “murderers”. Police officers were called to intervene and secure the centre.

The previous weekend, a group of people tried to break into a vaccination centre near Warsaw.

Watch the full video report in the player above.

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