Vaccine dispute does not end | Free press

Berlin (dpa) – Despite progress in the slow vaccination campaign, the dispute within the grand coalition continues.

SPD Secretary General Lars Klingbeil renewed his party’s criticism of Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). “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 told the SPD in the “Saarbrücker Zeitung” that “it has apparently left the path of reason”. Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU), meanwhile, defended the tightened corona restrictions until January 31. According to Spahn, more than 500,000 people in Germany have now been vaccinated against Corona.

The start of the vaccination in Germany was too slow from the point of view of the SPD. Several Social Democrats, including Klingbeil, had blamed Federal Health Minister Spahn for the fact that some other countries were ahead of Germany in terms of vaccinations. The SPD-led states had also sent a questionnaire to Spahn about the problems with the vaccination.

Amid the pandemic, the party is campaigning the vaccination debate, Kramp-Karrenbauer said. “That does not help her, but in the fight against Corona it can hurt because it creates uncertainty.” The Social Democrats must refocus on their responsibility to the country. CSU Secretary General Markus Blume also said in the “Rheinische Post” that the SPD was practicing as part of the government in opposition. “Anyone transitioning from the Corona battle to an election campaign in the midst of the greatest crisis since World War II should be asked if they have the format for bigger tasks.”

However, Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) campaigned for transparency in the crisis: “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.

CDU chairman Norbert Röttgen is surprised. “With Vice Chancellor Scholz, I always assumed he was aware of all federal government processes,” he told the editorial network Germany. And also: «Moreover, Olaf Scholz always claims that he always knows everything a little better. It’s funny that he now insists on his ignorance from all times. “

Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had confidence in the vaccination campaign. “It’s a slow start. Several hundreds of thousands are vaccinated, and the number is increasing every day. The pace will pick up, ”she said in her podcast released Saturday. “We will have enough vaccine available for everyone in Germany. Month after month, we can offer more people a vaccination to anyone who wants it. “

There has been a lot of good news in recent days to make progress with vaccination. Since Friday, more vaccine can be extracted from the ampoules supplied by the Mainz company Biontech and its American partner Pfizer than before. 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. In addition, the second vaccine approved in Europe, that of the American manufacturer Moderna, will be delivered to the federal states from Tuesday.

Klingbeil said in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”: “I am very pleased that our criticism of the last few days has already led to important changes. New orders for the vaccine have been made, Biontech’s production capacity is being expanded, Spahn now has all pharmaceutical companies. “and Merkel has made the issue a top priority.” All of this helps us to find a definitive way out of the crisis faster. “

As Health Minister Spahn explained in an online discussion on Saturday, anyone offered a vaccination against Covid-19 by the state cannot opt ​​for the vaccine for now. Such a selection could not be made because of the current scarcity “at the moment and foreseeable”, he emphasized. According to Spahn, for the first time since the vaccination began in Germany in late December, more than half a million people have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The corona figures are now at a high level. The German health authorities reported 24,694 new corona infections to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) within one day. In addition, according to the RKI, 1083 new deaths were recorded within 24 hours.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Söder defended the tightened corona restrictions until January 31. “We need to extend the lockdown we have now and deepen it in some places,” Söder said Saturday at the North Rhine-Westphalian CDU’s digital New Years reception. According to a spokesman, the prime minister referred to the fact that from Monday with the extension and deepening, new corona rules will apply in Bavaria.

The state cabinet of Saxony, which is currently particularly hard hit by the pandemic, has already decided to extend the lockdown until February 7.

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