"We are now on our way out of the pandemic"
The largest vaccination campaign in the history of Germany has begun well, said Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn in a government statement in the German Bundestag on Wednesday. "As we stand today, we expect to be able to offer everyone the chance to be vaccinated by the summer," he said.
The fact that vaccine is currently in short supply around the world is, however, a fact that we cannot change, said the Minister. The reasons for the shortages are the lack of manufacturing capacities and not the lack of contracts, he added.
Focus shifting to readiness to be vaccinated
The German government is continuing to do all it can to increase the availability of vaccines. Now it is also important that people are willing to be vaccinated. This "greatest vaccination campaign in our history" is a joint task, he said. "We can only really conquer this virus if most citizens are willing to be vaccinated in the course of this year," stressed Jens Spahn.
At this time it is important to remain realistic. On the way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will still have to take care of one another, in the same way as we have been, for some time to come. That is why the minister once again urged, "Let us all do our bit. Let us continue to take care of one another."
It is right to act at European level
Jens Spahn also stressed again that it was right to procure vaccines at European level. "Let me say quite clearly, that it is right to act at European level." The European Union and Germany supported vaccine manufacturers at a time when it was far from clear who would manage to develop an effective vaccine and which vaccine would be approved. "Without this support, it would have been practically impossible to launch vaccinations in Germany and in Europe."