Nov 26, 2020 - Health

Berlin to open six mass COVID vaccination centers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel stands in front of an open binder with papers sitting on a podium, while talking and gesturing

German Chancellor Angela Merkel at German federal parliament in Berlin on Nov. 26. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Berlin aims to open six centers with the capacity to vaccinate up to 4,000 people per day with an approved COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December, project coordinator Albrecht Broemme told Reuters on Thursday.

Why it matters: If successful, Germany could be a model for the U.S. and other wealthy countries to handle the logistical challenges of administering a vaccine that requires strict temperature control and storage.

Current plans assume that roughly 80% of the first doses will come from Pfizer/BioNTech and 20% will come from AstraZeneca, Broemme said.

  • Two airport terminals, a vacant trade fair hall, an ice rink, a concert arena and a velodrome are currently set to be designated as vaccination centers. Berlin reportedly hopes to administer up to 900,000 shots within the first three months.
  • Broemme described people being guided through the centers as shoppers are herded through IKEA stores.

The big picture: Wealthy countries, including the U.S., are increasingly confident they'll begin mass vaccination this spring, following breakthroughs by Pfizer and Moderna.

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