At the end of winter the Germans will be “vaccinated, healed or dead”

Vaccination bus on the streets of Berlin. / EFE

Merkel warns that the country is entering “a situation that will surpass everything we have seen so far”

By the end of winter all the inhabitants of Germany will be “vaccinated, healed or will have died.” This is how drastic the German Federal Acting Minister, the Christian Democrat Jens Spahn, was once again warning the population that there is no alternative to immunization to combat the coronavirus epidemic due to the virulence of its delta variant and to make a further appeal to be vaccinated, when only 68% of citizens have the complete vaccination schedule and the campaign for soft-drink vaccines has just begun. Leif Erik Sander, director of the immunological and vaccines research group at the Charité university hospital in Berlin, expressed himself in similar terms when he assured that “only vaccinations” will prevent Germany from suffering a “fifth, sixth and seventh” wave of the pandemic . “Everyone should be vaccinated” and an infection with the virus is not an alternative, said the university professor and expert in virology.

For her part, Angela Merkel, acting federal chancellor, described this Monday as “insufficient” the measures taken so far in Germany to stop the fourth wave of coronavirus that the country is currently suffering. «We live in a highly dramatic situation. What has been decided so far is not enough “to stop the spread of the virus, Merkel said during a meeting of the executive of the Christian Democratic Union in Berlin. “We are in a situation that is going to exceed anything we have seen so far,” commented the Federal Chancellor, who highlighted that infections in Germany currently double every 12 days.

Germany on Monday registered a new absolute record in the incidence of the coronavirus with 386.5 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in a week, although there are regions and districts in states such as Bavaria, Saxony and Thuringia that are approaching 1,000. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) recorded 30,643 new infections in the last 24 hours, compared to 23,607 on Monday last week. Meanwhile, the voices of those who demand the issuance of mandatory vaccination are increasing, but not for certain professional groups, which could be a constitutional violation, but for all workers without exception, a more radical but non-discriminatory measure.

Bavarian Health Minister Klaus Holetschek was the most recent defender of this measure on Monday. “We are in the middle of the pandemic and I think we will only get out of this endless loop with mandatory vaccination,” said the conservative politician.

Spahn’s new intervention took place on the occasion of the debate on the vaccine to be applied to refresh the immunity of those who have the complete vaccination schedule. The acting Minister of Health had previously announced that, together with the Pfizer / BioNTech preparation, they were going to supply GPs and companies, as well as vaccination centers, doses of Moderna in an equal proportion, which has unleashed during the weekend a wave of criticism due to the distrust of the population towards any other vaccine than the one developed here. To try to calm things down, Spahn commented that Pfizer / BioNTech is the Mercedes of vaccines, but that Moderna is a Rolls Royce. Both are developed on the basis of “messenger RNA” that teaches human cells to make a protein that triggers an immune response to the virus.

Sander also defended the use of Moderna’s preparation to practice soda vaccination and assured that it has the same quality as that of Pfizer / BioNTech. He added that applying either of the two has “extraordinary effects”, since the “booster” or soda vaccine reduces the risk of becoming ill with coronavirus more than 10 and up to 20 times. The “Charité” expert stressed that it is even beneficial to cross the two vaccines, since the immune system assumes the properties of both, and that the application of the third dose closes the immunization process, although that does not mean that in the future new sodas of the vaccine become necessary. Both Spahn and Sander also stressed that Germany has sufficient doses to meet the country’s needs.

The acting Federal Minister of Health also announced that in December children from 5 to 11 years will begin to be vaccinated, for which a contingent of 2.4 million doses has been prepared. Spahn pointed out that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will probably give a free pass this week to the vaccination of children of those ages. He added that the 4.5 million children between the ages of 5 and 11 who reside in this country may be vaccinated in the first months of 2022.


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