Empty Biontech ampoule: much sought-after vaccine
Photo: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert / dpa-Zentralbild
With reference to the advancing vaccination campaign, corona restrictions are currently being relaxed nationwide.
But new figures from the Federal Ministry of Health show: According to the forecast, significantly fewer doses will arrive from the most important supplier Biontech in July than in the previous month.
The number of vaccinations in Germany is likely to slow down significantly in the coming weeks.
According to the latest forecast from the Ministry of Health, 3.235 million doses of Biontech vaccine are expected in the first week of July.
In the remaining weeks of July there should be 3 million doses each.
For comparison: 5.687 million doses of Biontech vaccines are planned for the last two weeks of June.
Photo: Frederic Kern / imago images / Future Image
“There's less vaccine than many people think;
At the same time, it has been shown that the delta variant is highly infectious and in some cases causes severe disease.
It's scary, ”said SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach to SPIEGEL.
The problem: Compensation from other manufacturers is not in sight.
Johnson & Johnson is grappling with massive manufacturing problems and has to destroy millions of cans.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health, this means that J&J will deliver around 6.5 million fewer corona vaccine doses to Germany than planned by the end of June.
In its current forecast, the ministry does not provide figures on how many cans J&J will deliver in July.
According to the forecast, US manufacturer Moderna will increase its delivery volume compared to June - from 622,000 to 733,000 cans per week.
But even this plus cannot compensate for the decline in Biontech.
In addition, last week a planned delivery of more than 550,000 cans of Moderna apparently failed almost completely.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health's vaccination dashboard, only a good 13,200 servings were delivered to Germany.
The Ministry of Health gives no forecast for deliveries from AstraZeneca in July.
The manufacturer recently attracted attention due to serious delivery cuts and delays.
In addition, many citizens reject this vaccine.
“The AstraZeneca vaccine is in danger of being slow.
A good friend of mine, who vaccinates a lot, reports that he has to throw away a third of his Astra cans, "says SPD expert Lauterbach, describing the problem.
In fact, AstraZeneca's inoculations have fallen sharply.
In the third week of May, an average of more than 128,000 doses were injected daily, last week it was just over 52,000 doses per day.
Curevac will not deliver a vaccine for months - if the vaccine comes at all. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn is no longer planning the drug for the current vaccination campaign in view of massive problems and repeated delays in ongoing efficacy studies. His ministry has completely removed the Curevac vaccine from the delivery schedules published on the website for 2021.
SPD politician Lauterbach sums up the situation as follows: »We have three problems with the vaccines: AstraZeneca is apparently hardly used any more. J&J delivers on a much smaller scale than advertised, they have significant production difficulties. There are still no efficacy data from Curevac, which could indicate that the efficacy is not looking good. ”As a result, Germany is fully reliant on Biontech and Moderna to supply. "If the Biontech deliveries drop so sharply, it will be difficult to show the herd immunity before mid-September," said Lauterbach.
In view of the current delivery forecasts, he questions further opening steps: “In order to achieve herd immunity against the Delta variant, we need another 60 million doses of vaccine, not including children.
If the vaccination rate slows down that much, we'll have to step back on the gas with additional openings. "
As of June 15, 22.968 million people in Germany (27.6 percent of the population) are fully vaccinated.
A total of 40.7 million people (48.9 percent) have received at least one vaccination.
According to the Robert Koch Institute, the proportion of those who have been completely vaccinated and recovered must be at least 80 percent in order to largely dispense with corona measures.
"Difficulties - especially in schools"
Experts point out the importance of having the second vaccination given the Delta variant.
Because this increases the protective effect significantly.
In view of the time intervals between the first and second vaccination, speed is now of the essence in Germany: »The seasonality of the coronavirus is very pronounced.
If we do not achieve herd immunity through vaccinations by autumn, we will possibly get into great difficulties - especially at schools, "warns SPD politician Lauterbach.
"Because the children and adolescents will not be vaccinated at all or hardly at all, and the positioning of the Stiko is not exactly helpful."
The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) currently only recommends the corona vaccination for 12 to 17-year-olds with previous illnesses or particularly vulnerable caregivers.