Fewer vaccine doses than expected
Sat, December 5th, 2020 at 3:36 pm
Berlin (AP) – Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is hoping for a victory over the corona virus through the vaccinations that are expected soon. However, it would not be a matter of a few months, said Merkel in her video podcast published on Saturday.
“After more than nine months of the pandemic, we are now seeing light at the end of the tunnel,” said the Chancellor. It is hoped that one or more vaccines will be available very soon. “Then we can defeat the virus step by step.”
Due to delays in setting up the supply chain for the vaccine of the German company Biontech and the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, there are fewer vaccine doses than expected in the first few weeks, as Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said in Berlin on Friday. If approval is granted, the first vaccinations in Germany can be expected at the turn of the year.
Spahn promised mass vaccinations by the summer. “As of today, I am very optimistic that there will be mass vaccinations by the summer at the latest,” he told the news portal t-online. He is assuming that it will then be possible to vaccinate “across the board” in medical practices. When asked whether Germany was through with the worst in autumn, Spahn replied: “If as many as possible take advantage of the vaccination offer: yes.”
In total, there are five candidates for vaccine developments who would be approved with a “certain probability” by the middle of the year. In addition to the developments from Biontech / Pfizer and Moderna, Spahn also included products from Curevac, Astra Zeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Millions of German citizens could already be immune from vaccinations in the spring. By the end of March, “11 million cans from Biontech alone are realistic for Germany”.
The German Foundation for Patient Protection warned against false hopes of a victory over the virus through the vaccinations. “It is important that as many people as possible get vaccinated,” said board member Eugen Brysch on Saturday of the German press agency. “This makes it easier to live with the virus.” The chances and goals of the vaccinations are clear: Much less severe disease and fewer people who die from and with the virus. “Simplifications will not help us in the public discussion in the vaccination campaign,” said Brysch. The federal government should beware of this. “Because even the message” Anyone who is vaccinated cannot contract Covid-19 and is immune “is not true,” said Brysch.
The coalition had stipulated by law that the federal government can establish the rules for corona vaccination by ordinance. Risk groups, i.e. the elderly and the sick, employees in the health service and in central areas of general interest are already mentioned in this law. The German Ethics Council, the National Science Academy Leopoldina and the Standing Vaccination Commission at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) had announced a finer definition of this prioritization for the period up to the end of the year.
According to a draft of the Scientific Services of the Bundestag, vaccination against the coronavirus by regulation is not the right way. The document available to the dpa states: “The prevailing view that the prioritization of certain population groups for access to vaccines requires a formal law that regulates at least the essential criteria for the distribution of a scarce vaccine must be approved.”
Finally, the Federal Constitutional Court held that the relevance of a measure to fundamental rights was decisive for whether it should be regulated by a formal law. The possibility of being able to obtain vaccination protection against the cause of the disease Covid-19 is of enormous relevance for the entire population, since everyone is equally affected by the risk of infection and the resulting restrictions in everyday life, according to the elaboration by the FDP -Faction Vice Stephan Thomae had requested. Thomae warned that the Bundestag should not be “relegated to just a spectator again”.
The draft of the Federal Ministry of Health for an “Ordinance on the right to vaccination against the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus” is currently being voted on within the government.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201205-99-579611 / 5