Health Minister Jens Spahn intends to change Germany’s priority lists for vaccinations. At a Vaccine Summit, several issues were going to be discussed today.
Berlin, February 1st, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — Because Germany’s Permanent Vaccination Commission recommends the vaccine manufactured by the British-Swedish company Astra Zeneca for persons from 18 to 64 years of age only, the government is about to amend its vaccination priorities. At this stage, mainly individuals above 80 are being vaccinated.
Lack of Vaccine
Soon, Astra Zeneca’s vaccine deliveries will likely be used to vaccinate hospital staff members, caretakers, mentally handicapped individuals, people suffering from dementia and other high risk groups. At some German hospitals, doctors and nurses already were vaccinated. The new vaccination ordinance would take effect on February 8th, Health Minister Jens Spahn told ZDF television.
But Germany’s main problem is a lack of vaccine. Astra Zeneca will start deliveries later this week. Until mid-February, 1.5 million doses are supposed to arrive. The German manufacturer Biontech and its American partner company Pfizer have already delivered 3.3 million doses. This number is supposed to double until the end of the month. Moderna, another U.S. company, has delivered some 63,000 doses to date.
At a Vaccination Summit later today, Chancellor Angela Merkel, the First Ministers from the federal states, Jens Spahn and representatives sent by the vaccine manufacturers were scheduled to discuss the delivery issues. A resolution is not expected. Spahn and the manufacturers warned the public of exaggerated expectations.
In a ZDF news broadcast, the Health Minister rejected part of the criticism the government is facing for the vaccine delivery issue. Spahn said the fact that there would be a lack had been clear from the start. He would not engage is blaming others. Spahn reminded his interviewer that “the virus is the enemy”. Blaming each other was not helpful.
Outbreak Under Control
Vice Chancellor and Finance Minister Olaf Scholz is not convinced Angela Merkel’s promise, according to which all citizens will receive a “vaccination offer” until the summer, will be easy to keep. The government would have to struggle a lot in order to make it happen. Scholz told the ‘Süddeutsche Zeitung’ daily, the European Union should have ordered more vaccine.
In the meantime, the Corona B.1.1.7 mutant outbreak at the Vivantes Humboldt Clinic seems to be under control. According to the clinic, there is no “uncontrolled spread” of this variant which was first discovered in the United Kingdom and is considered far more contagious than the ‘old’ Coronavirus. Thirty B.1.1.7 infection cases had been identified at the Humboldt Clinic. The infection chain reportedly commenced at the cardiology department.
Corona Denier Protest
Six hundred Corona deniers and Nazis staged yet another protest in Berlin on Sunday night. Speakers at the rally accused the government of having set up a “Corona dictatorship”. Several of Germany’s most prominent right-wing extremists were part of the demonstration. Police arrested several participants who refused to follow the Corona rules.
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