Berlin (dpa) – Following last week’s state resolutions, states are gradually implementing tougher measures to contain the corona pandemic. At the same time, progress is being made with the slow vaccination campaign.
While Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has confidence in vaccination coverage, the dispute within the Grand Coalition over problems with the vaccination start continues. Bavaria Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) is already calling for more speed with the approval of corona vaccines.
There have been stricter measures against the virus in Hamburg since Friday and in Brandenburg since Saturday. Berlin, Lower Saxony, Thuringia and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania followed on Sunday. Other states will follow on Monday. Federal and state governments on Tuesday decided to extend the lockdown to the end of January with tightened contact restrictions. These are “unfortunately necessary”, said NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet of “Bild am Sonntag”. Söder also defended the approach.
This is now true in many places, sometimes with deviations in detail: your own household can only meet one other person, and in counties with more than 200 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within a week, restrictions on people’s range of motion may be imposed. Federal states have different rules for schools and daycare centers.
The vaccination campaigns launched at the end of December have not improved the situation in the long term. Health authorities reported 16,946 new corona infections within one day on Sunday. In addition, 465 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours, as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) announced in the morning. The number of registered cases is usually lower on Sundays, partly because fewer investigations are carried out at the weekend. In addition, no figures have been reported from Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt, as the RKI announced. In essence, interpretation of the data is currently difficult because, according to the RKI, corona cases were detected, recorded and transmitted with a delay around Christmas and New Year.
There was also good news in recent days to continue vaccinating. Since Friday, more vaccine than before can be extracted from Biontech / Pfizer ampoules. Volume increases of up to 20 percent should be possible. There is also a new agreement in the EU for up to 300 million additional Biontech / Pfizer cans. The second vaccine approved in Europe, that of the American manufacturer Moderna, will be delivered to the federal states from Tuesday. The approval of a third vaccine from the manufacturer Astrazeneca could follow at the end of January.
Numerous vaccination centers throughout Germany have now started their work, initially to vaccinate very old people. According to Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), more than half a million people have now been vaccinated in Germany.
“We must take every opportunity to get a vaccine quickly,” said Welt am Sonntag’s CSU chief Söder. Reliable approval is important, but any vaccine saves lives. “That’s why you shouldn’t opt for the typical bureaucratic procedure, but try to get approval. A vaccine already approved in one country could also be quickly approved in the EU. “
There was criticism of the slow start of the vaccinations, for example from the SPD to Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU). The states led by the SPD had sent a questionnaire to Spahn about the problems with the vaccination. “It was clear from the start that vaccination is our way out of the pandemic and that we therefore need to prepare in detail. Spahn did not, ”said Klingbeil to the“ Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung ”. CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, on the other hand, declared to the SPD in the “Saarbrücker Zeitung” (Saturday) that “she apparently left the path of reason”. Amid the pandemic, the party is campaigning with the vaccination debate.
Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) campaigned for transparency. “In times of great uncertainty, trust is a very central category of governance,” he told the DPA. Therefore, the principle should apply: “When questions arise, they are asked”. “Otherwise, mistrust can easily arise,” Scholz warned.
Spahn himself admitted in “Welt am Sonntag”: “I am not saying that everything went perfectly. There are things, especially when it comes to vaccination appointment information, that could be better. But he also stressed, “We now have a structure that works and it can and will start up.”
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) also stressed that the rate of vaccination will increase. “We will have enough vaccine available for everyone in Germany. Month after month, we will be able to offer more people a vaccination, and ultimately everyone who wants it, ”Merkel said in her podcast published Saturday.