MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: CDU CSU
December 16, 2020
Current hour of the Bundestag on the vaccination strategy
The imminent approval of a corona vaccine in the EU gives cause for confidence. Speakers of the Union parliamentary group announced in a recent hour of the Bundestag a speedy start of vaccinations. Priority is given to the elderly and people in need of care, as well as medical staff.
The fact that the vaccine, which the Mainz-based company BioNTech has developed in collaboration with Pfizer, is expected to be approved in a few days is “a wonderful Christmas present,” said Karin Maag, health policy spokeswoman for the CDU / CSU parliamentary group. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn also spoke of “light at the end of the tunnel”. Never before in human history has a vaccine been developed so quickly.
Conscious decision for proper approval
Nevertheless, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) allowed itself more time to test the vaccine than the authorities in other countries, such as Great Britain or the USA. Spahn and Maag defended this approach. The decision was made consciously for proper approval and not for emergency approval. Only if the active ingredient is proven to be effective and well tolerated will people have confidence in the vaccination. This is of great importance with regard to vaccination opponents and skeptics.
“Vaccination is a blessing for humanity”
The deputy chairman of the parliamentary group Georg Nüßlein called out to these doubters: “Vaccination is a blessing for humanity.” This has been shown by the successful fight against smallpox, polio and measles. Containing the coronavirus is also about saving human lives and preventing serious illnesses. Nevertheless, there will be no compulsory vaccination. On the contrary: Since initially there are not enough vaccine doses available for everyone who wants to be vaccinated, prioritization must be made.
Prioritization by regulation
The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) has issued recommendations for whoever comes first to benefit from the new vaccine. This prioritization is determined by ordinance of the Minister of Health. In the opinion of the Union parliamentary group, a separate law is not necessary for this because the criteria for the ranking were established a few weeks ago with the Third Civil Protection Act. If one had to wait for another law, then vaccinations could only start in February, Karin Maag pointed out.
Vaccination centers are prepared
The first vaccinations should take place immediately after the approval, which is expected for December 21st. The federal states have already set up the vaccination centers and the mobile vaccination teams for old people’s and nursing homes. Spahn explained that the regulation also leaves scope for adapting the vaccination strategy, for example if different types of vaccines come onto the market or new knowledge about tolerability is available.
Advance drug research
Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek also promoted vaccinations. The new lung disease could in no way be compared with normal flu, she warned: “Vaccinations are one of the greatest achievements in health research.” In addition to the vaccine from BioNTech, others are needed. In Germany alone, the biotech companies Curevac and IDT Biologika carried out research with public funding. Nevertheless, all is not well with a vaccine: Drugs against Covid-19 also have to be developed, demanded Karliczek.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.