Economy

Unused AstraZeneca cans: Baywa boss wants to buy vaccine

Klaus Josef Lutz, CEO of BayWa AG

Klaus Josef Lutz, CEO of BayWa AG

picture alliance / Stephan Goerlich

After the debacle over the AstraZeneca vaccine, of which around one million doses are currently stored unused in the federal states, the first major German entrepreneur has now made a statement: Klaus Josef Lutz, CEO of Baywa AG, offers, “Previously unused vaccine by special permit to be purchased as soon as possible as a preventive measure for our employees. ”Lutz wrote this in a letter to Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), who NewsABC.net knows.

“The vaccinations are scandalously slow in Germany,” says Lutz to NewsABC.net. Baywa is therefore ready to buy vaccination doses and have all willing employees vaccinated by company doctors and family doctors, the entrepreneur confirms. Baywa AG wants to make itself available as a pilot project under medical supervision in which a future vaccination strategy will be designed for companies, the letter to Spahn said.

Baywa AG is a Munich-based group with cooperative roots and around 18,000 employees that operates internationally as a basic supplier for elementary areas of the energy, agricultural and construction industries. With its subsidiaries and holdings, Baywa AG is represented in more than 40 countries. In terms of sales, the group is one of the largest European companies, and it is also the largest agricultural trader in Germany.

15 percent of the 1.4 million vaccine doses unused

A questionable classification of the Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) and media reports about the effectiveness of AstraZeneca had caused skepticism among the population in recent weeks, which is why many people apparently did not want to be vaccinated with the vaccine. In addition, there were problems with the distribution of the vaccine, which is why, according to the Ministry of Health, of the 1.4 million Astrazeneca vaccine doses, only 15 percent were used because of the initially bad image.

Unlike the EU Medicines Agency (EMA), Stiko initially only recommended the vaccine for people between 18 and 64 years of age because there are no data on the effect in older people. “The whole thing went somehow bad,” admitted the head of the commission, Thomas Mertens, in an interview in the ZDF “Heute Journal”.

Lutz demands resignation from the Stiko boss

“I find it devastating that the head of the Standing Vaccination Commission said in an interview that it went badly,” Baywa boss Lutz told NewsABC.net. The economic consequences of the slow vaccination campaign are dramatic, and aid payments from the federal government cannot compensate for that. “Mr. Mertens doesn’t have the backbone to say that there have been mistakes. He’d have to take his hat off, ”demands Lutz.

At the same time, the CEO understands the “multi-layered and difficult decision-making situation” in politics and also says: “I don’t want to bash in the direction of politics.” The entrepreneur no longer wants to stand idly by and with his offer an example of a small entrepreneurial sign Show action.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) and the Saxon Prime Minister Michael Kretschmer (CDU) both called for the Astrazeneca vaccine to be released for anyone who wants it. Most recently, the Federal Minister of Health refused to release any leftover vaccine for everyone on Friday.

In the meantime, however, the Stiko has announced that it will reconsider its recommendation as soon as possible. There will be “a new, updated recommendation very soon,” said Mertens. Then Astrazeneca could also be used for older people. It remains to be seen whether this recommendation will then also be accepted by the population.

“The previous vaccination record in Germany was 170,000 vaccination doses in one day. If we continue at this rate, we will have a lot more vaccine doses on stockpile in March, ”warns Lutz, who advocates a significantly faster pace.

Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said on Wednesday morning in the ARD “Morgenmagazin” that he wanted to further increase the speed of vaccinations against the corona virus. He also asked Stiko to adjust its recommendations for the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, Spahn has not yet responded to Klaus Josef Lutz’s offer.

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