Germany is facing a dwindling supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which was partly developed in the country, as it races to provide booster shots, the German health ministry said on Monday.
And while the European Medicines Agency is poised to approve the vaccine for use on children 5 to 11 this week, first doses will not begin until Dec. 20, when shots for children are scheduled to be delivered to European Union countries, the health minister, Jens Spahn, said.
A strong fourth Covid wave — as well as repeated advice by the authorities to get vaccinated or get a booster shot — has led to a renewed run on vaccines.
On Thursday, 553,000 vaccines were administered in Germany in one day, a daily total not seen since early August. Three quarters of those shots were boosters, according to the health ministry.
“Probably by the end of this winter, as is sometimes cynically said, Mr. Spahn said, “pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, recovered or dead.”
Pfizer-BioNTech was the first coronavirus vaccine to be licensed in Germany and makes up roughly three quarters of the doses administered in the country. A vast majority of older Germans, who were vaccinated first, received that vaccine and are now looking for it as a booster shot.
On Monday, the authorities stressed that Moderna boosters would be just as effective and that the two could be used in combination.
Separately, Germany will receive a delivery of 2.4 million specially prepared doses for children ages 5 to 11, Mr. Spahn said. More shipments are expected early next year.