Berlin. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) considers a ten to 14-day hard lockdown to be necessary in view of the increasing number of corona infections. “If we take the numbers, including the developments today, we actually need another 10 or 14 days at least to properly shut down our contacts, our mobility,” said the CDU politician on Saturday during an online discussion on the current vaccination situation and corona tests in everyday life .
A lockdown is necessary, similar to that at Easter last year, said Spahn. He said he would rather have Easter with his family himself. “But it just won’t work this year.”
“If we broke the wave in time, then we could then take exactly the opening steps that are already being seen in some federal states and municipalities,” said Spahn. He warned of an overload of intensive care medicine “if we don’t break this wave now”.
Spahn defends vaccination sequence
The Minister of Health also defended the prioritization of vaccinations. “It has been shown to save lives if we vaccinate the elderly first,” he said.
The clear motto, however, is to have vaccinated doses that are delivered for a week at the end of the week, he said with a view to vaccinating in general practitioners’ practices. “Everything is better than what’s left at the end of the week,” said Spahn.
He emphasized that the vaccination campaign was now picking up speed. “We will be able to gain more and more speed.” Now, after Easter, the general practitioners would be involved. And at some point company doctors could also be used. But the existing vaccine is still too scarce. He finds it difficult to vaccinate younger company employees as long as the older ones are not yet protected.
Other specialists who want to vaccinate should also be gradually involved “from the end of April, beginning of May,” said Spahn. He assumes that 80,000 to 100,000 medical practices could then administer coronavirus vaccinations. According to Spahn, up to 50,000 practices will initially be involved in the planned expansion to include general practitioners.
Paul Ehrlich Institute sees Sputnik V as well as vaccines from Curevac and Novovax with hope
The President of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI), however, sees the ongoing testing of new Covid 19 vaccines with hope. The European approval authority EMA is currently examining three further preparations in a “rolling review process”, said Klaus Cichutek during the discussion. These are an mRNA vaccine from the Tübingen company Curevac, the Russian preparation Sputnik V and a vaccine from the Novovax company.
In the “rolling review process”, test results are already checked, even if not all of the results are available. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn added that the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, which has already been approved, will probably be used from mid-April, but initially in small quantities.
PEI President Cichutek also emphasized that the institute is monitoring any side effects after Covid-19 vaccinations very carefully. “The bells ring when it is necessary,” emphasized Cichutek, referring to the temporary suspension of vaccinations with the Astrazeneca preparation after several cases of cerebral vein thrombosis.