Wednesday, December 8, 2021

In the middle of the crisis – Spahn limits delivery of Biontech vaccine

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Biontech could soon become scarce in medical practices. Health Minister Spahn is apparently deferring a large part of the deliveries for the time being for a good reason.

The Federal Ministry of Health will limit the delivery of the Biontech vaccine in the coming weeks. Resident doctors will only receive 30 doses of Biontech vaccine from next week, vaccination centers 1,020 doses. The Moderna vaccine, on the other hand, is not subject to a maximum limit.

The background is therefore the fact that more than 90 percent of the doctors are currently asking for the vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer. “At the same time, the Moderna vaccine should also be used more frequently for booster vaccinations, otherwise from the middle of the 1st quarter of 2022 there is a risk of expiry of the Moderna vaccines that have already been stored,” says the letter from State Secretary Thomas Steffen to the federal states. “It must be a common concern of ours to prevent this by all means.”

The letter also emphasizes that the ministry has “taken precautions so that sufficient vaccine is available for booster vaccinations”. More than 40 million cans would be available for this purpose by the end of the year.

It was only on Thursday that the federal and state governments announced at a conference of prime ministers that they wanted to further fan the vaccination campaign. The booster vaccinations in particular have been sluggish over the past few weeks. According to the RKI, 312,000 syringes were used on Tuesday – as many in one day as not since August, as Spahn explained on Twitter. “The direction is right, but not enough to break the dynamic.”

In total, at least 55.9 million people or 67.3 percent of all residents are now fully vaccinated. A good three million German citizens have now received a boost in vaccination at least six months later.

In order to boost vaccinations more, practical solutions should also be found. As of November 16, practices will be able to order vaccines once again after they have mutually switched to a two-week cycle in the summer, explained the Federal Association of German Pharmacists’ Associations. Thawed vaccines could then be stored in the practice refrigerator for a month or more.

The German Foundation for Patient Protection insisted on quick and broader offers for booster vaccinations. Elderly people whose vaccination was more than six months ago would be put off until the next year, complained board member Eugen Brysch.

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