Health Minister Carl Lauterbach has taken it for granted that a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine will be needed, and estimates that a new pandemic wave, due to the “Omicron” variant, is now inevitable.
“We are preparing intensively for this,” Lauterbach told a news conference, noting that the federal government has already ordered 80 million BioNTech / Pfizer vaccines adapted to Omicron, which will be delivered in April or May. In addition, Moderna vaccines will be available for you to choose from, he said. “I personally and as a scientist believe that we should take it for granted that a fourth vaccination will be necessary to treat the virus,” he said. Earlier, the President of the Family Doctors, Ulrich Weigelt, had stated that in the summer, at the latest in the autumn, a fourth dose of vaccine will be needed.
Referring to the effectiveness of the booster vaccine against the infection from “Omicron”, the German Minister of Health explained that the third dose protects 70-80% from possible infection, while the protection against severe disease “exceeds 90% ». However, he refrained from answering questions about the duration of this protection, as, as he said, there is not enough information yet.
The goal is difficult
As for the goal of 30 million vaccinations by the end of the year, Karl Lauterbach said he still considers it possible and announced that 28,100,000 people have been vaccinated to date. “We need a very aggressive vaccination campaign. “This is the most important thing we can do to prevent many of our fellow human beings from getting seriously ill,” he said.
Both Lauterbach and the head of the Robert Koch Institute, Lothar Wheeler, who attended the same press conference, called on citizens to limit their contacts during the holidays as much as possible.
“Let Christmas not be the spark that will light the fire,” said Mr. Wheeler, calling for great attention already earlier than December 28, the date of entry into force of the restrictions decided yesterday by the federation and the states.
The publication of proposals by the Robert Koch Institute yesterday, which were much more restrictive than the government’s positions, caused tension both within the coalition and among the Prime Ministers of the states, while the comments of the media spoke of “chaos” and “Contempt” of the government for scientists. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach did not even rule out the possibility of imposing sanctions on the Robert Koch Institute, which is overseen by the Ministry of Health.
“Soltz and Lauterbach were really furious with Wheeler,” the private n-tv news station reported. So their joint appearance today in front of the journalists was expected, if nothing else, with great interest. “Am I still standing by Mr Wheeler?” The health minister asked, answering a question. “It simply came to our notice then.
“Otherwise he would not be sitting here today,” he said. “The institute is constantly making recommendations, this is our job,” Mr Wheeler said, with Lauterbach ending the debate, saying he did not find the issue “particularly interesting”.