Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn is optimistic during today's press conference, but at the same time points out that Germany still faces tough weeks ahead. He admits that the start of the vaccination campaign was difficult, and that workers were overloaded when it came to making appointments. "All of this has led to disappointment," Spahn says. But now, he says, they have the means to defeat the virus. Not immediately, but within the year. "I, too, am tired of this pandemic. I, too, want to get back to freedom," he clarifies.
Three million vaccine doses have already been administered, and more than 800,000 people have already received the second dose, Spahn says. 630,000 people in care facilities have now been vaccinated, which is 80 percent, and almost half have already received the second dose, he adds. "We are protecting those most at risk from the virus first," Spahn stresses.
For the first time in three months, there are fewer than 200,000 acutely infected people, Spahn says. "We are on the way out of the pandemic. We are taking this path resolutely, but cautiously." According to the report, it claims that Germany has achieved a great deal through the consistency of its measures and a great deal of restraint. That must not be gambled away now, he said. Referring to the new mutants of the virus, Spahn warns that these should not be given the opportunity to spread.
Spahn speaks of a "character and stress test for our society. He especially thanks all forces that are on special duty during the pandemic, such as nursing staff, but also those who work in laboratories or pharmacies without a break. "We owe it to them, too, to hang in there a little longer." Yet kind words do not change the reality that this current administration has locked down the entire country for too many months,damaged the economy and caused untold heartache and pain for millions of people.
"Case numbers continue to decline in most regions in Germany. That's very good news," said RKI chief Lothar Wieler. On the other hand, he said, intensive care units in Germany continue to be heavily burdened, and death rates are high. The RKI is particularly concerned about the Corona mutants, especially the British variant of the virus, B1.1.7, which has so far been detected in 13 German states and has become increasingly common in recent weeks.
A test of 30,000 samples conducted in the fourth week of January shows that the variant first detected in the UK currently accounts for about 5.8 percent of cases. According to Wieler, this proportion is expected to continue to rise sharply, making the pandemic fight more difficult. "That's why it's so important that we continue to apply all the measures," Wieler says, justifying the excessive lockdown at every opportunity."The virus is not tired yet - it just got a boost."
Klaus Cichutek, president of the Paul Ehrlich Institute, emphasizes that Astra Zeneca's vaccine has been extensively tested - including in animal studies with rats, mice and monkeys. The vaccine has also been tested in humans: in phase 3 trials in more than 10,000 people alone. The vaccine, he said, meets all the criteria also set by the Paul Ehrlich Institute's Committee for Human Medicinal Products. "It may also be somewhat more tolerable compared to the RNA vaccines, according to the results of the clinical trials." Across Europe, he said, it is recommended by experts. "I think every single one of us should take advantage of the protection offered by vaccination as soon as it is offered," Cichutek said. Which partially contradicts recent reports in the media that the jab was not as effective as first thought.
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