Covid vaccine: the Germans are already on the war footing

Not a minute to lose. As soon as the vaccine is there, “everything will have to go very quickly”, repeats the German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn. So as not to be taken aback, the Germans have been preparing their vaccination campaign for several weeks. Millions of syringes are already stored and the doses ordered (at least 100 million, according to the minister).

To define priorities, the government will follow the recommendations of its Ethics Committee, the “Deutscher Ethikrat”, which recommended 10 days ago to first immunize people at risk (retirees, in particular), staff health and “systemic” professions (teachers, police officers, etc.)

To relieve the attending doctors and hospitals, the Germans will open from the month of December about sixty vaccination centers in barracks, exhibition centers or sports grounds. “Even if the vaccine arrives later than expected, we prefer to have centers on standby,” explained Sabine Bätzing-Lichtenthäler, Social Democratic Minister of Health for the Land of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Exhibition center, ice rink or airport

Federalism obliges, the 16 German regions are responsible for the implementation of the “Vaccine plan”. Germany, the country of major international fairs and exhibitions, will above all mobilize its exhibition centers for this massive campaign. These places are very spacious, functional and make it possible to respect barrier gestures. “And it takes us two to three days to set up a center,” said Hans Peter Schneider, the patron of the Bremen Fair.

The city of Berlin will provide its exhibition center as well as a large ice rink, a velodrome, or even Tegel airport which closed only a few days ago.

Since the first vaccine (that of the German-American group BioNTech / Pfizer) must be stored at -70 degrees, the Ministry of Defense made the refrigerators of the army barracks available. “Germany is ready for a mass vaccination campaign,” said Matthias Klumpp, expert in pharmaceutical logistics at the University of Göttingen.

Finally, to meet the need for staff, the government wants to mobilize medical students but also firefighters, doctors and volunteers from retired charities to strengthen in particular the mobile vaccination teams for retirement homes, particularly numerous in Germany. , the oldest country in the world after Japan.

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