On Monday, Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said all Germans will be “vaccinated, cured or dead” by the end of this winter. Currently, about one-third of Germans—67.5%—are unvaccinated, at a time when the country is experiencing the ‘fourth wave’ of the pandemic, with record-high levels of COVID cases.
“Probably by the end of this winter pretty much everyone in Germany … will be vaccinated, cured or dead,” Spahn said at a last-minute press conference.
“With the very contagious Delta variant, it is very, very likely … that anyone who is not vaccinated will over the next few months become infected and lack protection,” he said, in comments reported by Politico. “In this respect, immunity is always achieved. The question is only whether it is through vaccination or infection. And we clearly recommend vaccination.”
Spahn angered people last week by rationing supplies of the BioNTech vaccine, which is in high demand because it is made in Germany. However, on Monday, he rushed out an additional six million doses of the shot. He also assured people that some non-German vaccines—such as the U.S. made Moderna shot—was also “a good, safe and very effective vaccine. “
In a flippant comment, Spahn noted that “many doctors say that BioNTech is the Mercedes among vaccines and Moderna is the Rolls Royce.”
Lothar Wieler, head of the Robert Koch Institute, which is tracking pandemic data, said: “We aren’t talking about isolated outbreaks anymore—all of Germany is one big outbreak. This is a national emergency.”
The Institute reported on Monday 387 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people on a weekly basis. However, large segments of the population in eastern and southern Germany have registered ‘crisis levels’ of more than 1,000 cases per week per 100,000 people.
More than 99,000 people have died from the virus in Germany.