Corona News: More than 45 million more vaccine doses – policy


Germany receives more corona vaccine from the EU than previously planned. Of the first vaccine from the Mainz-based company Biontech and its US partner Pfizer, 55.8 million doses are now coming from an EU-wide order instead of the initially planned 40 million doses, as the Federal Ministry of Health announced on Saturday upon request in Berlin. First reported Picture on sunday about that. In addition, a further 30 million vaccine doses of this preparation have already been secured through national commitments. Germany therefore has 45.8 million more vaccine doses than initially planned.

In addition, the EU allocates 50.5 million vaccine doses to the company Moderna, which is why Germany has secured a total of 136.3 million doses from both companies, all of which should be delivered in 2021. The federal government is hoping for EU approval of the Biontech preparation, which is produced together with the US company Pfizer, before Christmas. Moderna is aiming for EU approval for its vaccine in mid-January. The German share is increasing because the EU had concluded additional contracts with the companies.

Even the 136.3 million doses would be sufficient to achieve what is known as herd immunity in Germany, which requires at least 60 percent of the population to be vaccinated. From this percentage on it is assumed that a virus cannot spread any further. For vaccination protection, for example with the Biontech preparation, two doses per person would have to be injected.

Germany has secured a total of more than 300 million vaccine doses, said the spokesman for the Federal Ministry of Health. Because in addition to the products of Biontech and Moderna there are 42 million doses via EU contracts with the German company Curevac, whose vaccine could be approved in the first half of the year. Germany can also obtain 20 million doses through a national program, because the development of vaccines from Curevac and Biontech was funded by tax money.

Germany receives an EU share of 56.2 million cans from Astra Zeneca, and another 37.25 million cans from Johnson & Johnson. The last three vaccines mentioned are all in phase III studies, the last step before applying for approval.

RKI reports more than 30,000 new infections

The health authorities in Germany reported 31,300 new infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. That comes from RKI information from Saturday morning. On Friday there was a maximum of 33,777 reported infections, but it included around 3,500 reported cases from the previous day. On Saturday last week, the number was 28,438.

The health authorities also reported 702 new deaths within one day. The previous high of 952 deaths was reached on Wednesday. The number of daily deaths had tended to go up recently, which was expected after the steep increase in new infections. The total number of people who died with or with a proven infection with Sars-CoV-2 rose to 25,640.

In total, the Robert Koch Institute has counted 1,471,238 detected infections with Sars-CoV-2 in Germany since the beginning of the pandemic (as of December 19, 00:00). It is estimated that around 1,085,500 people have now recovered.

The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants (7-day incidence) reported to the health authorities within seven days was given by the RKI on Saturday at 189.6. This is the highest level since the pandemic began.

According to the RKI management report on Friday, the nationwide seven-day R-value was 1.05 (previous day: 0.97). This means that 100 infected people theoretically infect 105 more people. The value represents the occurrence of the infection 8 to 16 days ago. If it is below 1 for a long time, the infection process subsides.

Criticism of Corona aid

The chairman of the economy, Lars Feld, criticizes the Corona aid in the economy. The catering industry is already being helped too much, said Feld der Rheinische Post. “The restaurateurs get 75 percent of their sales from the same month last year replaced for November and December. The out-of-home sales continue. Some are now doing better business than a year ago,” said the economist. It is good that the state will only reimburse part of the fixed costs in 2021. Because of the restrictions in November and December, the federal government had announced aid for affected companies and reimbursement for lost sales. Bridging aid III will apply from January, and fixed operational costs such as rents and leases will then be reimbursed. Access to the bridging aid for November and December has been extended; in view of the now stricter rules, this was primarily aimed at retailers.

Spahn determines the order of those eligible for vaccination

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU) signed the ordinance on Friday that creates the framework for vaccinations against the coronavirus that are planned soon.

According to this, all people with residence or habitual abode in Germany have a fundamental right to this. However, it is stipulated that the federal and state governments should use the vaccine, which is initially only available to a limited extent, in a fixed order.

“The highest” priority in Group 1 is therefore given to over 80-year-olds, staff and residents in nursing homes and health workers with a very high risk of infection – for example in intensive care units, emergency rooms and rescue services.

Group 2 includes people over 70 and people with dementia or an intellectual disability.

Group 3 includes people over 60 and people with diseases such as cancer or diabetes. This also includes the police, fire brigade, food retailers, educators and teachers.

The ordinance also regulates how to prove that one belongs to a group with vaccination priority. An identity card or other photo ID should be sufficient for old age. Otherwise, certificates from the institutions or companies must be submitted, and in the case of previous illnesses, a certificate (medical certificate). If you are “directly known personally” to your doctor from previous treatment, you should also be able to request the certificate by telephone and then have it sent to you.

At a press conference in Berlin on Friday, Spahn asked the population for patience. He said it would take at least a month or two to vaccinate the first group. The established order means “we will have to live with this virus for a longer time”.

“Vaccination is the way out of the pandemic,” the CDU politician said earlier on Friday morning on ZDF. At the same time, he asked for understanding that not everyone could get a vaccination immediately. “We are now starting with the over 80s, the very old, the people in need of care and those who care for them,” said the minister. This group is already so large that it will shape vaccination events in Germany in the coming weeks. First of all, a community effort is about protecting the particularly vulnerable. “I just have to ask everyone else for patience,” said Spahn. “We’ll start with those who are particularly at risk.” Only then will they think about expanding the range of vaccinations.

At the press conference, Spahn said it was a question of solidarity to first give risk groups access to vaccinations. In the same way, it is only in solidarity if people who have already been vaccinated do not immediately insist on exceptions to the corona measures. Spahn again refused to be vaccinated.

Canary Islands are becoming a corona risk area again

The federal government has again classified the Canary Islands, which are popular with German holidaymakers, as a corona risk area. The Robert Koch Institute announced on Friday that all of Spain would be on the risk list again from Sunday – which also entails a travel warning from the Foreign Office.

The Canary Islands are one of the few holiday destinations in other European countries for which no travel warning has yet been issued. On October 24th, it was canceled due to falling infection numbers. For eight weeks the Canaries were considered “risk-free”.

For some time now, the numbers on the islands have been increasing again, especially on Tenerife. There, new infections per 100,000 inhabitants were last at 127 within a week. As a result, this value increased for all seven Canary Islands together – which are otherwise below the limit value of 50, except for La Gomera – to an average of a good 70. From a value of 50, this increased Regions classified as risk areas for which a travel warning is issued.

Fireworks ban in Lower Saxony temporarily suspended

The Higher Administrative Court in L√ľneburg has temporarily suspended the fireworks ban in the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance. Such a comprehensive ban is not necessary as an infection protection measure, it said on Friday in a message from the court (Az .: 13 MN 568/20).

Paragraph 10a of the new version of the Corona Regulation not only prohibits the sale, but also the carrying and burning of fireworks and other pyrotechnic objects. The ban should apply nationwide from last Wednesday until January 10, 2021.

On the other hand, an applicant who lives in a municipality in Lower Saxony turned against it on Wednesday with a norm control application. He had argued that the fireworks ban was not a necessary protection against infection. In particular, it is not necessary that it extend to all types of fireworks and all locations.

The 13th Senate of the OVG approved the plaintiff’s motion – at first it was not known exactly who it was. In the opinion of the judges, infection protection measures should only pursue “legitimate goals under infection protection law”, such as protecting the population from infection with the Sars-CoV-2 virus and avoiding overloading the health system. But this did not include the dangers that would result from the scope with fireworks. Therefore, the firecracker ban is hardly suitable, not necessary and also not appropriate to achieve the goals of infection protection law.

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