Chronically ill young German gets special vaccine permission

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, chronically ill 30-year-old Benni Over has lived in strict quarantine in the German town of Niederbreitbach with his parents, who look after him around the clock.

Over suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

He can move only his fingers and has to receive mechanical ventilation, which means a COVID-19 infection would be incredibly difficult for the family to deal with.

Last month, Benni made a desperate appeal to the country's health minister Jens Spahn to access the vaccine.

"Minister Spahn, please understand: People who suffer from the most severe illnesses are also part of this!"

Benni and his parents were finally able to receive their first vaccine dose on January 7 after the state premier intervened.

Germany changed its recommendations earlier this month to include vulnerable people with serious health conditions among those to be given top priority for vaccinations, along with the over-80s, nursing home residents and staff and healthcare workers.

Nearly 1.4 million people in Germany have now received a first shot against COVID-19.