Dhe federal government has known for a long time what Sanofi manager David Loew said last April: “Whoever is the first to have the vaccine will be the first to emerge from the economic crisis.” Although the first usable vaccine from the Mainz-based company Biontech together with the US partner Pfizer could be developed, Germany is not yet one of the fastest “vaccination states”.
Around 238,000 vaccinations against the corona virus have been reported by the Robert Koch Institute on Sunday. A multiple, namely 1.3 million doses of vaccine, have already been delivered to the federal states, according to Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), by the end of January it would be a total of four million, he told RTL.
In the small state of Israel with a population of nine million, on the other hand, around a million people have already been vaccinated, and other states are also reacting quickly. The website Our World in Data, operated by the University of Oxford, compares different states according to the number of doses administered there per 100 inhabitants. Accordingly, Israel is clearly ahead with twelve units per 100 inhabitants – of course not in absolute numbers, where the much larger states USA, China and the United Kingdom occupy the first places.
The former EU state in particular shows that quick action is also possible in Europe: with 1.4 injected vaccine doses per 100 inhabitants, the United Kingdom is way ahead of Germany, which has 0.3 per 100 citizens, and ahead of the rest of the EU States.
But independence from the EU does not automatically lead to faster responsiveness, as Switzerland and Norway show: The Norwegian Ministry of Health told WELT that the country currently has 45,000 vaccine doses and will receive a further 40,000 units a week from Monday. The Scandinavian state does not want to provide information on vaccinations that have already taken place until this week.
Just like Switzerland, which according to the local Federal Office of Public Health currently has “around 100,000 vaccination doses”. Measured against the population, the Confederates (nine million) and the Norwegians (five million) are even worse equipped with vaccines than the Germans. Incidentally, despite its EU independence, Norway participates voluntarily in their corona vaccination program and is therefore dependent on the European Union of states for procurement.
In Germany, ahead of the new talks between Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and the Prime Minister of the federal states, calls for readjustment of the vaccination management are loud: other countries people have to try to get a vaccination appointment themselves via hotlines, online or via app ”, criticizes Union parliamentary group vice-president Thorsten Frei.
Seniors in particular often have “difficulties keeping up with this digital race”. Frei hoped for “better coordination among the federal states and a rapid adjustment of vaccination appointments in order to counteract unequal treatment of individual population groups”.
Dietmar Bartsch, the chairman of the Left parliamentary group in the Bundestag, told WELT: “The greatest good in the pandemic is the people’s trust in the actions of politics. The federal government gambled away a lot of it. ”The people and the companies urgently needed planning,“ instead of an extension of the measures every two weeks, ”criticized Bartsch. The federal states needed “a transparent and reliable timetable for vaccine distribution from the federal government. The citizens pay a high price for the loss of time and the current delivery chaos due to poor planning. “
Carsten Schneider, the parliamentary managing director of the SPD parliamentary group in the Bundestag, considers the “coordinated procedure in Europe” to be correct in procuring vaccines, but criticizes the health minister’s omissions. “At a crucial time, Germany held the EU Council Presidency, and Jens Spahn was chairman of the relevant Council of Ministers. In addition to the European orders, there were also bilateral contracts that were concluded. Errors when ordering the vaccine must be cleared up quickly, ”said Schneider WELT. “The production and distribution of the vaccine must now have priority for the Minister of Health.” To do this, Spahn must “bring all pharmaceutical manufacturers to one table and commit them to a national initiative”.
“Everyone wants to pass the buck on the other”
Marco Buschmann, parliamentary manager of the FDP parliamentary group, took up the attacks of the SPD on the health minister: “The SPD, CSU and CDU are hopelessly divided over vaccination management. Everyone wants to pass the buck on the other for the messed up start. That has to stop. ”The only priority is the question of how the shortage of vaccine can be remedied as quickly as possible. To do this, “the federal government must get together with the pharmaceutical industry as quickly as possible and explore all possibilities to increase production of the Biontech vaccine”.
Sebastian Munzenmaier, the AfD parliamentary deputy in the Bundestag, told WELT: “Instead of doing everything we can to make as much vaccine available as possible as quickly as possible, a joint ‘European’ approach in the EU was more important to the politicians. As expected, this project failed due to the bureaucracy in Brussels. ”Münzenmaier asked the government to negotiate with the pharmaceutical companies producing in Germany which production options could be made available in the short term.
Health Minister Spahn (CDU) defended himself against criticism of the vaccination strategy: “We have ordered enough vaccine for Germany and the EU,” said Spahn of the “Rheinische Post”. When asked whether Germany could go it alone with the pending approval of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, the minister indicated a possible move away from the EU-wide approach: “Rapid European approval would be ideal.”