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Demand for booster vaccinations against COVID-19 is low in Germany, the association of general practitioners said on Thursday, with some patients waiting for a booster designed to combat the currently circulating Omicron BA.4/5 subvariants.

Germany can next week start using COVID-19 vaccines which have been adapted for the Omicron variant and got approval for use in the European Union on Thursday, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Wednesday he expects a wave of COVID-19 infections this autumn but ruled out further lockdowns or school closures.

A reliance on vaccines in short supply and questions over their best use are hampering efforts to curb the global spread of monkeypox which has hit dozens of countries for the first time, health officials say.

The German constitutional court upheld the country’s measles vaccine mandate for children on Thursday, ruling against a challenge brought by parents.

Germany’s vaccine advisory committee said it urgently recommended that the country use all the monkeypox vaccine it has on hand to administer first doses, and that second shots be offered only once enough doses are available.

CureVac has filed a patent lawsuit in Germany against BioNTech over its use of mRNA technology, marking one of the first known cases of a company going to court amid the fierce competition to develop a vaccine against the coronavirus.