Germany’s health minister has issued a stark warning to the country’s public, telling citizens that vaccination was the key to their survival.
“Some would say this is cynical but probably by the end of this winter, pretty much everyone in Germany will be vaccinated, recovered or dead … That’s the reality,” Jens Spahn told a press conference in Berlin on Monday.
Blaming “the very contagious delta variant” for the country’s rapid surge in infections, which is seen as its fourth wave of the pandemic, Spahn said “that is why we so urgently recommend vaccination.”
Germany is considering whether to implement stricter Covid-19 measures and even a partial lockdown like its neighbor, the Netherlands, as cases soar. On Monday, more than 30,000 new cases were recorded, according to the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.
In the meantime, Germany has one of the lower vaccination rates in western Europe with 68% of its adult population fully vaccinated, but only 7% having received a booster shot. Boosters are needed as we know that the immunity offered by vaccines wanes after around six months.
Spahn told Germans not to be picky about which vaccine they wanted to receive, saying “some vaccinating physicians say BioNTech is the Mercedes of the vaccines and Moderna is the Rolls-Royce,” Deutsche Welle reported.
“There is enough vaccine for all upcoming vaccinations,” Spahn said. “And both vaccines work.”