Berlin According to Health Minister Jens Spahn, Germany is well prepared for the largest vaccination campaign in the country’s history. “The vaccination centers are ready to go, the vaccination teams are up,” said the CDU politician on Saturday in Berlin. At the same time, he made it clear that the coronavirus has not yet been defeated with the start of the vaccination campaign. “We will need a lot of patience to leave this pandemic behind.”
The corona vaccinations in Germany should actually only start on Sunday. But now it started earlier. In a senior center in Saxony-Anhalt, 101-year-old Edith Kwoizalla and about 40 other residents were vaccinated on Saturday. Ten nurses were also immunized. The operator of the retirement home, Tobias Krüger, obviously didn’t want to lose any time. “Every day we wait is one day too many,” he said. The district office had previously asked him whether everything was prepared in the home.
The first doses of the vaccine were delivered to the federal states on Saturday. There they were distributed to vaccination centers and mobile teams. First, people over 80 as well as nurses and hospital staff at particular risk are to be immunized.
Spahn agreed with the citizens that, given the size of the campaign, things might not go right straight away. “It will jerk at one point or another, that’s completely normal.” The Minister of Health affirmed the goal of “going into the field with vaccinations in the middle of the year and making a vaccination offer to anyone who wants to”.
By the end of the year 1.3 million vaccine doses would be delivered, in January he expects almost 700,000 doses per week. By the end of March the manufacturer said there were more than 10 million cans Biontech to go out, there would be another 1.5 million doses when the Modern– Vaccine will be approved in the European Union.
Spahn called for a “national show of strength” to immunize as many people as possible against the corona virus. “We want to vaccinate so many people that the virus no longer has a chance, in Germany and in Europe,” said the CDU politician. Every vaccination more means fewer infections and fewer deaths. “Those who take part save lives,” emphasized Spahn. “This vaccine is the ultimate key to defeating this pandemic. It’s the key to getting our lives back. “
Laschet: “Important moment of confidence”
In the most populous state of North Rhine-Westphalia, 9,750 cans were initially delivered and taken to a secret central warehouse. Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU) said: “This is an important moment of confidence. With the delivery of the first corona vaccine, there is hope for a normal life as we knew it before the virus. “
In Bavaria, Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann and Health Minister Melanie Huml (both CSU) received the delivery in Erlangen. It was half of the first 9750 vaccine doses intended for the Free State, said Huml. The rest of them should arrive in Munich. In other federal states, too, preparations for distributing the vaccine were in full swing.
Deliveries of the vaccine have started not only in Germany, but also in Italy, France and numerous other EU countries. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen Hoffnung spoke of a moving moment of unity and a European success story.
“The vaccinations will help us gradually return to our normal lives,” she said in a video posted on Twitter on Saturday. As soon as enough people have been vaccinated, one can start traveling again, meet friends and family and spend the holidays normally. “But until then we have to be careful.”
“Today is delivery day,” said von der Leyen. “And tomorrow the vaccinations against Covid-19 will start in the European Union.” According to her, the vaccine is available in all 27 EU countries at the same time. “And people start vaccinating in Athens, Rome, Helsinki, Sofia, wherever.” More vaccines would soon be available. “Let’s make 2021 our year of European recovery and hope.”
In Italy, the first doses of the Biontech / Pfizer preparation reached their destination in the capital under military escort. The Ministry of Defense confirmed that the transporter arrived in a Carabinieri barracks in northern Rome late Friday evening.
The first vaccination doses were also delivered in Austria; they came into the country from Belgium via Germany. The approximately 10,000 cans were brought to a warehouse in Vienna from the border crossing in Suben in Upper Austria under police escort, the authorities said.
According to a YouGov survey commissioned by the German Press Agency, around two thirds of Germans want to be vaccinated. 32 percent of those surveyed said they wanted to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Another 33 percent are also determined to do so, but still want to wait and see possible consequences of the vaccination for others. 19 percent have decided against a vaccination, 16 percent are still undecided.
By the end of March, 11 to 12 million vaccine doses should be available in Germany. Since the preparation has to be administered twice, this amount would be sufficient for approximately 5.5 to 6 million people.
Spahn assumes that he will be able to make a “vaccination offer” to all citizens in Germany by the summer – provided that further preparations are approved. In addition to the vaccine from Biontech and its US partner Pfizer The drug from the US company Moderna is currently also playing a role, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) plans to decide on approval by January 6th.
The German Association of Cities dampened expectations. “A start has been made, but the ghost with the dangerous corona virus is not over yet,” said City Council President Burkhard Jung (SPD) to the newspapers of the Funke media group. The infection situation is currently still worrying and the time for mass vaccinations has not yet come. “There is initially far too little vaccine for this,” said Jung, who is also mayor of Leipzig.
The FDP chairman Christian Lindner sees Germany “not sufficiently prepared for vaccination”. The FDP would have wished for a clear legal basis for this, because such important questions of life and death should be decided on a broad basis, said Lindner of the German Press Agency in Berlin. “When it comes to the question of logistics, we should use the established medical area beyond the vaccination centers as soon as possible so that we can make rapid progress with vaccination,” warned the FDP boss.
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