A pilot has traced an image of a syringe in the skies above Germany to celebrate the launch of coronavirus vaccination campaigns across Europe.
Samy Kramer said he hoped the stunt would be ‘a fun and unconventional way to raise awareness’.
The majority of European Union countries began inoculating vulnerable people on Sunday, while Hungary, Slovakia and Germany started a day earlier.
Kramer took to the skies on Wednesday in a Diamond DA20 single-propeller plane.
Flight tracking data from FlightRadar24.com showed the small plane tracing the image of a syringe above Friedrichshafen, a German town 126km (78miles) from Stuttgart.
‘It was to set sort of a reminder to people and raise awareness that the vaccine will be available,’ Kramer told Reuters news agency.
Kramer’s flight came just days before Germany and other European countries began vaccinating vulnerable residents against coronavirus.
The campaign was due to kickoff on Sunday, but Germany began vaccinating residents at a nursing home in Halberstadt in the Harz hill range on Saturday.
‘Every day that we wait is one day too many,’ said Tobias Krueger, operator of the nursing home.
The first person there to be immunised with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 101-year-old Edith Kwoizalla, the dpa news agency reported.
Krueger said 40 of the home’s 59 residents wanted the immunisation shot along with 10 of around 40 workers.
He was among those immunised but added, ‘I also understand the concerns.’
Mass vaccination across the European Union, home to almost 450 million people, would be a crucial step towards ending a pandemic that has killed more than 1.7 million around the world, crippled economies and destroyed businesses and jobs.
The roll-out gives hope to some of the world’s worst-hit countries. At least 16 million cases of coronavirus have been reported across the EU, with more than 360,000 deaths.
It comes as cases of the new variant of coronavirus first detected in the UK have been registered in France, Spain and Sweden.