Health Minister Says Germany Will Be "Vaccinated, Cured Or Dead" By Winter's End

Germany's Health Minister, Jens Spahn. Image credit: photocosmos1 / Shutterstock.com

A fourth wave of COVID-19 has come for parts of Europe as Austria enters yet another nationwide lockdown and moves to make vaccinations mandatory from February, while the Netherlands enters a partial lockdown as cases skyrocket. The situation paints a worrying picture for the future of neighboring countries, sentiments which were recently mirrored by Health Minister for Germany, Jens Spahn.

“Probably by the end of the winter, more or less everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, cured or dead,” Spahn said in a press conference. “That sounds cynical, but that is the reality.”

Spahn’s remarks come as Germany is currently experiencing heightened spread likely facilitated by the Delta variant, a highly contagious mutation of SARS-CoV-2.

The minister is not alone in his fears. Outgoing chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly told Christian Democratic Union of Germany leaders the country is “in a highly dramatic situation. What is in place now is not sufficient,” reports the Guardian.

Unvaccinated people have already been barred from non-essential public places in Germany in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Bavaria and Saxony are among the worst-hit areas and authorities have responded to this by closing clubs and canceling festive markets.

With 70.7 percent of the country currently vaccinated (at time of writing), Germany’s leaders are working towards a law to mandate vaccines for health workers and people assisting the elderly. One concern is that vaccines are being wasted in the country as residents are rejecting Moderna in favor of the BioNTech/Pfizer jab. Spahn is among those who have voiced doctors must use up existing stocks before they expire. This is particularly frustrating for low-income nations who have yet to receive first doses of COVID vaccines. Some of the poorest nations are not expected to get wide access to any COVID vaccines until 2023

Having recently recorded levels of infection not seen since the pandemic began, it seems the race is on for Germany to see an uptick in vaccinations should a fourth wave comparable to the 2020 winter outbreak be prevented. It remains to be seen if it will be forced to follow suit with the Netherlands and Austria in imposing further lockdown measures.

[H/T: Guardian]

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