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Karl Lauterbach: ‘Not Enough Vaccine for Booster Vaccinations’

In an interview with ARD television, Germany’s new Health Minister Professor Karl Lauterbach shared bad news: The amount of vaccine available will not cover the booster vaccination campaign the government is planning for the first quarter of 2022.

Berlin, December 15th, 2021 (The Berlin Spectator) — Karl Lauterbach has been in office as Germany’s new Health Minister for a few days only. Now, he encountered a big problem. As he conceded in an interview with the news show ‘Tagesthemen’ on the ARD network’s first TV program, a stocktaking unveiled a lack of vaccine. Germany does not have enough to cover the booster vaccination campaign the government is organizing.

Working on Solution

Lauterbach said he himself had been surprised about the result. The vaccine Germany has in stock and all placed orders did not suffice for all vaccines from January to March of 2022. The Minister stated he was already working on resolving the issue and hoped to be able to spread good news in the coming days. He said his efforts to get more vaccine was spread “across all available channels”, but added everything needed to happen according to the European Union’s rules.

It is not the first time Germany faces an issue of this kind. In January of this year, there was not enough vaccine to cover the demand for first Corona vaccination shots, because the entire E.U. needed it. It took months until the amount of vaccine sufficed. Back then, a German yellow press publication accused the government of a “vaccination failure” even though the lack was an E.U. problem. Since the infection numbers started skyrocketing yet again with the beginning of the cold season, more vaccine is required.

New Restrictions Possible

Because of the spread of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus, Karl Lauterbach does not rule out contact restrictions for the upcoming Christmas holiday. In the interview, he said he hoped this kind of measure would not be necessary. For now, he wanted to wait for the recommendations of his new expert council which convened on Tuesday, for the first time.

Lauterbach and the Health Ministers from Germany’s federal states took a decision when they met for their regular conference online on Tuesday night: Individuals with three vaccination shots, meaning those who got their first shot, their second one and their booster vaccination, will not have to get tested before they visit events at which the ‘2G Plus’ rule applies. ‘2G’ stands for “getestet oder genesen” (“tested or recovered”), while the ‘plus’ indicates that there is another rule. In some cases, masks are required, in spite of ‘2G’, in others Corona tests are mandatory, even for vaccinated or recovered persons.

Incidence Decreases Further

Germany’s Seven Day Incidence dropped down to 353.0 since yesterday, when it stood at 375.0. The number of new Corona infections that were registered in the past 24 hours is 51,301. Last Wednesday, it was 69,601. While the number of new Corona infections is decreasing, that of Corona-related deaths is not. Since yesterday, 453 Corona patients died in Germany.

The federal state of Brandenburg just announced the implementation of tightened Corona rules because of its high infection numbers. Discotheques and similar clubs will have to close again. Large gatherings on New Year’s Eve are forbidden. Masks will have to be worn at ‘2G’ events as well. Protests are limited to up to 1,000 participants.

All relevant Corona numbers for Germany, and daily Corona updates, can be found in our Corona chronology.

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