The vaccine from the manufacturer Biontech has been vaccinated against the coronavirus in Germany since the end of December. But the bumpy start causes criticism. But how do we really do in the international vaccination race? The MOPO answers the most important questions.
According to the RKI, more than 165,500 people have been vaccinated with the first dose so far (as of January 1). 2759 of them were in Hamburg. This means that the Hanseatic city, with the equivalent of 0.15 vaccination doses per 100 inhabitants, is below the national average of 0.20. To be protected against the outbreak of the Covid-19 disease, you have to be vaccinated a second time.
Who is leading in the vaccination race worldwide?
9.9 million vaccine doses were administered worldwide (source: Our World in Data). Israel is ahead in percentage terms: More than ten percent of the country’s nine million inhabitants have already been vaccinated. By the end of January, Israel is said to have received between 4 and 5.6 million doses of the Biontech vaccine. In Germany there are only three to four million during the period – and that with a population of over 80 million people. Most countries used the Biontech vaccine, the US and Canada also used Moderna’s. In Great Britain, the vaccine from the manufacturer AstraZeneca was recently approved with an emergency approval.
Germany ordered the vaccines through the EU and waived emergency approval. That took time: the member states had to come to an agreement, and approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) also took time. The advantage: Better conditions for the vaccines and approval based on more research results.
In November, the EU ordered vaccines from various manufacturers, and Germany also ordered more at national level. But only the Biontech vaccine can still be used: The Federal Ministry of Health expects up to 13 million vaccine doses in the first quarter of 2021. In total, Germany is to receive 85 million cans from Biontech and around 50 million from Moderna in 2021. Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said that anyone who wants to be vaccinated could be offered a vaccination.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the EU strategy?
In the “Spiegel” interview, Biontech co-founder Ugur Sahin was amazed at the EU’s purchasing policy, which only ordered 300 million vaccine doses in November. But the strategy of relying on several manufacturers seems to make sense: This avoids dependencies. Delivery difficulties with individual manufacturers can be compensated. But so far only the Biontech vaccine has been approved, other manufacturers cannot yet deliver. If these follow suit, vaccination can be carried out faster in the EU.
Can’t you just make more vaccine?
With its partner Pfizer, Biontech will manufacture more than a billion vaccine doses for 50 nations over the next few months. Nevertheless, calls are being made to increase vaccine production. But it’s not that easy: “It’s not as if specialized factories were standing around unused all over the world that could produce vaccines of the required quality overnight,” says Sahin in “Spiegel”.
How does the logistics work?
Over the next few months, vaccinations are to be made possible for 60 to 70 percent of Germans in order to achieve herd immunity. The vaccine will be distributed to the federal states via the federal government – a logistical challenge because the Biontech vaccine has to be stored at minus 70 degrees. Whether long waiting times on the telephone hotline or uncertainty about the delivery time: there were start-up problems. At the beginning, Spahn asked for your understanding for “some federal mess”. Overall, the “largest vaccination campaign in the history of Germany has started successfully.
There is currently a global shortage of vaccines, said Spahn, who asked the German population to be patient. Germany will get enough vaccine, so Sahin in the “ Spiegel”. He thinks the most fragile groups will be well covered in the coming months, especially the elders. Heiner Garg, Minister of Health of Schleswig-Holstein, also believes in vaccination coverage by autumn in his state.
How much longer will the lockdown last?
The numbers are still high: The RKI reported 22,924 new corona infections and 553 deaths on Friday, with fewer people being tested over the holidays. An extension of the lockdown is likely, in the next few days the effects of Christmas will be seen, believes the Berlin medical officer Patrick Larscheid. It can also be assumed that mobility did not decrease as much in the second lockdown as in the first in spring. Larscheid believes a lockdown is necessary until spring. It remains to be seen to what extent the vaccination will prevent transmission of the virus.