Fourth COVID-19 shot may be needed: German health minister

Germany’s top health official has predicted that a fourth shot of the COVID-19 vaccine will be necessary to protect against the Omicron variant.

“We will need a fourth vaccination,” German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach told public broadcaster ZDF on Wednesday night, CNN reported.

“We know this already — we need a specific variant vaccination against Omicron.”

Lauterbach said the boosters have proved so far to be “not too durable” against Omicron, which has an unprecedented number of mutations.

“And we are prepared for that,” he said, adding that the country has already placed an order for 80 million doses of a Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in development to specifically target the variant.

Currently, 70.5 percent of Germans are fully vaccinated and 33.8 percent have received a booster shot, according to government data.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said the boosters have proved so far to be “not too durable” against Omicron.
Omer Messinger/AFP via Getty Images

Health experts in Germany warned Omicron is on track to become the dominant strain there in three weeks — and urged people to limit contact with others to a minimum.

“Christmas should not become the spark that starts the Omicron blaze,” said Lothar Wieler, president of the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

With Post wires