Düsseldorf The Corona vaccination effort has picked up speed, and plans for the next stages are becoming clearer. Now a concrete date is on the table for when priority for certain groups will end.
In three weeks, according to plans of the German government, all people in Germany should be able to get a Corona vaccination appointment - without the fixed order that is still in place.
Prioritisation is to be lifted starting June 7, according to a draft decision by Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) for consultations with his state colleagues on Monday. Priority lists based on age, pre-existing conditions and occupation should then be eliminated in doctors' offices and regional vaccination centres. Thus all citizens from 16 years are entitled to agree upon an inoculation date in the inoculation centres, it is said in the draft, which the German press agency dpa has access to.
Too high expectations are to be dampened however at the same time, since due to the current expected supply quantities not all vaccination-willing could be inoculated already in the course of June. "The vaccination campaign will have to continue until the end of the summer, as announced." In addition, at least 15 million first and second vaccinations are still scheduled through June 7 - including many still according to prioritisation.
Also starting June 7, company and private physicians would be routinely included in vaccinations, without prioritisation from the beginning, according to the proposal. In general, appointments for first and second vaccinations still agreed upon under prioritisation would remain unaffected by the vaccination release.
REMOVAL OF PRIORITISATION IN SOME FEDERAL STATES:
Some states have jumped ahead with the release in doctors' offices. In Baden-Württemberg, for example, people have already been allowed to get vaccinated without grouping since Monday. Only the vaccine from Moderna is not suitable for medical practices because of transport, according to the State Chamber of Pharmacists. In the vaccination centres, however, the prioritisation remains, so that people with high risk are vaccinated there first in any case. In Bavaria, prioritisation is expected to fall among primary care physicians later this week. Brandenburg only fully released priority group 3. Hesse plans to open registration for vaccinations to all citizens from June. Earlier vaccination clearances in individual states will be allowed to remain, according to the federal proposal.
REMOVAL OF PRIORITISATION DEPENDING ON VACCINE:
AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines already allow people to get vaccinated without belonging to a priority group. However, they can have serious side effects in rare cases and are therefore generally intended for people 60 and older. For younger people, medical information and an individual risk analysis are required beforehand. Lifting the prioritisation should allow the vaccination campaign to move forward, Spahn had said.
THE PURPOSE OF PRIORITISATION:
This was introduced as the official order because of the initially foreseeable shortage of vaccine. The stated goal: to quickly protect people at highest risk of severe and fatal cases of corona. Group 1 therefore included people over 80 years of age, people in nursing homes and health care workers at high risk of infection. This was followed by Group 2 with people over 70, with diseases such as cancer, daycare educators and teachers at elementary schools. Meanwhile, vaccinations are underway in the third and final group, which includes people over 60 and occupational groups that can't be in home offices - such as supermarket clerks and bus drivers. And at least 15 million scheduled vaccinations are also due by June 7. There is no Group 4 in the vaccination regulation: then everyone gets their turn.
VACCINATION CAMPAIGN STATUS AND OUTLOOK:
More than 70 percent of people over age 60 have been vaccinated at least once, and nearly 25 percent have been fully vaccinated. More than 40 million Corona vaccine doses have been administered overall. 37 percent of Germans (30.8 million) have been vaccinated at least once - 11.2 percent (9.3 million) fully. Saarland has the highest rate of at least first-time vaccinees at 41.4 percent. Saxony lags behind with 32 percent. By the end of May, more than 40 percent should have been vaccinated at least once, according to the Spahn department's draft resolution. One in seven will then have full vaccination protection.
The government still does not want to give the all-clear. The daily falling new infection figures and the vaccination campaign running with great momentum could lead to a confident but possibly not premature feeling of safety, said government spokesman Steffen Seibert. "We have not yet reached the conditions to enjoy as relaxed a summer as last year." The goal must remain to significantly further reduce the number of infections, he said. A year ago, the nationwide seven-day incidence at this time was 5, Seibert explained - on Monday, there were 83.1 reported new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days, according to the Robert Koch Institute.
Original text: Sascha Meyer and Basil Wegener, dpa
Translation: Mareike Graepel