Is this the beginning of the end of Corona? Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn just said he expected the first vaccinations to be administered within less than six months. In the meantime, the number of new Corona infections in Germany keeps on rising rapidly.
Berlin, October 13th, 2020 (The Berlin Spectator) — What the Health Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany Jens Spahn announced is exactly what the nation wants to hear. The man who has been co-leading the fight against the Corona pandemic since it hit Germany in January said the first people might be vaccinated early next year.
“If all horses hit the finish line, we might have too much of it”, Spahn stated. This would be the opposite of today’s situation. There is no vaccine people would trust. For instance, hardly anyone seems to want Vladimir Putin’s ‘Sputnik V’ vaccine. Neither that one nor the Chinese model has gone through what experts call phase III studies. The one Jens Spahn is talking about, on the other hand, is going through all stages it needs to.
In September, Spahn and Research Minister Anja Karliczek had already predicted that a vaccine would be available in early 2021, but what he said on Monday sounded more specific. Back then, Spahn had stated the first round of vaccinations would be for certain demographic groups, while the majority of people could get vaccinated mid next year.
First, persons with pre-existing conditions, elderly people, nurses, doctors and caretakers needed to get the chance to be vaccinated, the Minister had said. Now he stressed any vaccinations against Corona would be voluntary. Conspiracy theorists in Germany keep on saying everyone would be forced to be vaccinated, and that Bill Gates would use the opportunity to equip everyone with tiny microchips.
Apart from talking about vaccines, Spahn criticized the so-called accommodation ban for residents from high risk areas. Most federal states within Germany do not let them stay at any hotels on their turf unless they have a new Corona test with a negative result. According to Spahn, this practice undermines the acceptance for measures taken to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus.
The Health Minister is not alone with this kind of criticism. Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller and the First Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia Armin Laschet, the heads of government of two of the federal states Corona is hitting the hardest right now, see an urgent need to talk about those accommodation bans. They will have the opportunity to do so on Wednesday, when Chancellor Angela Merkel and all First Ministers are scheduled to hold yet another online conference on Corona.
Rhineland-Palatinate, one of the first federal states to announce accommodation bans, will refrain from putting it in place, at least for now. First Minister Malu Dreyer stated the ban would not be implemented today, on Tuesday, as originally planned, because the debate was “extremely virulent”. Well, so is Corona. First Minister Dreyer wants to discuss restrictions for private parties on Wednesday. She said that was where many people got infected.
At this stage, at least 13 million Germans and other residents live in high risk areas where the Seven Day Incidence Number is higher than 50. That number shows how many persons per 100,000 inhabitants got infected in a city, county, federal state or country within the past seven days.
Three of the ten Corona hot spots with the highest incidence numbers in Germany are Berlin districts. Neukölln, where The Berlin Spectator is headquartered, is the worst place in the country, in this regard. Mitte and Tempelhof-Schöneberg are hotspots with alarming numbers as well. So are Herne, Cloppenburg, Bremen, Offenbach, Esslingen, Hagen and Regen.
In the meantime, the number of new infections per day is increasing further. According to the numbers provided by Johns Hopkins University, as many as 6,541 new Corona cases have been reported in Germany between yesterday morning and this morning.