Travelers stand at a counter offering last minute flights at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany on May 11, 2021. Germany is removing all countries currently on its list of “high-risk areas” as part of a rethink of its coronavirus travel rules that will take effect on March 2, 2022. (MICHAEL PROBST / FILE / AP)]
BERLIN / SARAJEVO - The German government will fund the development of a nasal vaccine against COVID-19 similar to flu vaccines already available for children.
Of the 69.4 million adults in Germany aged 18 and over, around 85 percent are vaccinated against COVID-19
Since the vaccine is directly applied to the nasal mucosa using a spray, it will "take effect where the virus enters the body," Minister of Education and Research Bettina Stark-Watzinger told the newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine on Thursday.
The research project by the University Hospital of Munich is to receive funding of almost 1.7 million euros ($1.73 million) from the country's Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), according to Stark-Watzinger.
The vaccine is administered without a needle, and is therefore painless, head of the project Josef Rosenecker explained. It can also be administered without the need for medical staff. These factors could make it easier for patients to accept receiving the vaccine, Stark-Watzinger said.
Of the 69.4 million adults in Germany aged 18 and over, around 85 percent are vaccinated against COVID-19. Almost 72 percent have received one booster vaccination, while almost 10 percent have already received two booster doses, official figures show.
According to a draft of the country's new infection protection act jointly presented by the Ministry of Health (BMG) and the Ministry of Justice (BMJ) on Wednesday, face masks could become mandatory again on trains, as well as in certain indoor areas such as hospitals.
The country's federal states are to be allowed to take more comprehensive measures, which could include mandatory testing at public institutions such as schools and child-care facilities.
"Germany should be better prepared for the next COVID-19 winter than in previous years," Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach said when presenting the draft.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has reintroduced mandatory masks in all medical and social care facilities, due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the government said Thursday.
Medical and social care institutions in all ten cantons of the Federation of BiH have also been ordered to reopen all vaccination points, and speed up the vaccination process, with the country facing its sixth COVID-19 wave in the past week.
Both measures will remain in force for the next 30 days, in order to protect public health.
Currently, 7,657 active COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Federation of BiH, and the weekly incidence is 63 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.
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