With a joint appeal to the population, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Health Minister Jens Spahn (both CDU) tried to speed up the corona vaccination campaign on Tuesday.
A vaccination requirement, as planned in France or Greece, should not exist in Germany, Merkel clarified after speaking with Spahn and the president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lothar Wieler, in Berlin.
In France, employees in hospitals and nursing homes must be vaccinated by mid-September or they will no longer be allowed to work and will no longer be paid, the government had announced. Greece has similar plans. In addition, only those who have been vaccinated are allowed to enter clubs, restaurants or concert halls.
“We are not going to go the way France suggested. We said there would be no mandatory vaccination.” Merkel said you can gain trust by advertising the vaccine. She appealed to anyone “still insecure”: “A vaccination protects not only you, but also someone dear to you, who is important to you, who you love.” A vaccination protects not only against serious diseases, but also against the stressful limitations of daily life. “The more we are vaccinated, the freer we will be again, the freer we can live again.”
Sufficient vaccine available
Spahn said there were no more excuses when it came to the vaccine. “There is enough vaccine, appointments are easy to get. (…) take the opportunity. »
In Germany, 43 percent of the total population has now been fully vaccinated against the corona virus, about 35.8 million people, the RKI announced on Tuesday. 48.8 million (58.7 percent) have been vaccinated at least once. Vaccination rates are slowing down. While the government had reported a “very vibrant vaccination campaign” last week with an average of 700,000 doses of vaccine administered daily, Monday it was just under 450,000 and even less the day before.
In the debate on 7-day incidence as a parameter for assessing the corona situation, Merkel said that incidence is of course important, but vaccination changes the ability to deal with higher incidences without overloading the health system. The number 100 will no longer be the number it was before the vaccination. However, she referred to the risk that new virus variants could arise with high case numbers. “The vaccines still work and I want it to stay that way.”
The corona figures in Germany have been rising again for a good week, so far at a low level. The increase is already more pronounced in other European countries. Britain is now back with more than 30,000 registered new infections per day.
Vaccination quota not yet sufficient
According to Merkel, the RKI experts assume that a vaccination coverage of 85 percent for 12 to 59-year-olds and 90 percent for people over 60 is necessary. Then the increase in numbers is manageable. “We are still a long way from these vaccination quotas,” the chancellor said. The chairman of the board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, Andreas Gassen, had described 90 percent rates as “science fiction”.
In the medium term, the government does not rule out the possibility that the previously free corona tests in Germany for unvaccinated people will become taxable. You are still in a stage of conviction, in a later stage you can certainly think about it, Spahn said. He doesn’t want to rule that out.
Merkel added that at this point there are still groups that cannot be vaccinated, such as children or people, who may have other reasons why they cannot be vaccinated. At the moment they are promoting vaccinations. Measures “which are such an indirect mandatory vaccination” should be carefully considered. The coming weeks will be all about advertising, “and then we’ll move on to discussing”. The previously free citizen tests, such as the vaccination certificate, give access to events and other offers in Germany.