Corona vaccine: No more deliveries until mid-January

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn (CDU).

Michael Sohn / AFP via Getty Images

Jens Spahn is satisfied.

“The vaccination started successfully,” said the Health Minister (CDU) on Wednesday in Berlin. “The largest vaccination campaign in our history has started successfully. This is the result of unparalleled teamwork. ”

According to the Robert Koch Institute, “successful” specifically means: As of Wednesday, 78,109 people in Germany were vaccinated with the Biontech corona vaccine. For comparison: Israel administered 151,986 doses of vaccine against the coronavirus on Tuesday alone. This means that there are many more vaccine doses stored anywhere in Germany than older people are vaccinated. It is still completely unclear why so few people were immunized.

When asked about this discrepancy with countries that vaccinate more quickly, Spahn asked for patience at the federal press conference on Wednesday. Germany only has one approved vaccine available. “The shortage of the vaccine at the beginning is a problem,” said Spahn and asked for understanding that it “jerks a little at the beginning”.

An internal report from the Federal Ministry of Health, which is available to, shows how much the German vaccination campaign is jerking.

No deliveries of the Biontech vaccine until mid-January

The report lists the delivery dates of the corona vaccine from the German company Biontech to the federal states.

So far, a total of 274 vaccine boxes have been sent last Saturday, Monday and Wednesday, each box contains 4875 doses. That makes almost 1.34 million vaccine doses shipped. Since two Biontech vaccine doses would be administered for an effective vaccination against the coronavirus, this supply is only sufficient for almost 670,000 vaccinations.

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According to the report, further deliveries of the vaccine throughout Germany have not been made: a new shipment will not go to the federal states until January 11; then a total of 668,000 vaccine doses. The deliveries are then made every week – 137 boxes each with 668,000 vaccine doses.

By February 16, the last delivery date specified in the Ministry of Health’s report, around 5.35 million doses of the Biontech vaccine would then be available in Germany. Enough to vaccinate almost 2.7 million people.

Health ministers react angrily to vaccine delivery bottlenecks

Meanwhile, several health ministers of the federal states reacted angrily to the supply shortages of the Biontech vaccine.

“This is now causing us great difficulties because we have made our plans based on these commitments,” said Berlin’s Senator for Health Dilek Kalayci about the failed delivery in the first week of January.

Bavaria’s Minister of Health Menalie Huml (CSU) also reacted angrily to the news from the Federal Ministry of Health: “It is incomprehensible to me how a complete delivery can simply be omitted with such high numbers of infections. The vaccination doses actually promised were already firmly planned in our vaccination centers. ”

SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil also criticized Health Minister Spahn. “I find the chaos around the vaccination start very annoying,” said Klingbeil of the “Rheinische Post”. “The minister himself had months to prepare the planned vaccination start. He has been given sufficient skills for this. “

Ministry of Health responds to criticism and promises early vaccine delivery

On Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Ministry of Health finally responded to the criticism of the late delivery date in the second week of January.

At the request of the German Press Agency, the ministry announced that it had agreed with the vaccine manufacturer Biontech that the next delivery of the corona vaccine would take place on January 8th.

After that, the next delivery would be scheduled for January 18th. From then on, a new delivery of around 670,000 cans will be sent every Monday.

The goal of the federal government: 300,000 vaccinations per day

These numbers are far from the vaccination levels targeted by the federal and state governments. Health Minister Spahn said on Wednesday in Berlin that the almost 400 vaccination centers in Germany are able to vaccinate 300,000 people a day. A capacity not achieved by the lack of vaccine.

Especially since the availability of vaccines from other manufacturers is a long time coming. A provisional approval of Moderna’s vaccine is not expected in the EU until next week. However, according to Spahn, only 1.2 million cans are available in the first quarter. Moderna cannot produce more and faster.

It will be interesting to know when exactly the approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be decided. Your vaccine would be available in large quantities, but it is unlikely to be as effective as BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.


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