Marcus Lanz: ‘We can’t vaccinate an epidemic,’ says Strick

aOn Wednesday, the Bundestag will discuss for the first time in detail the introduction of the general coronavirus vaccination in Germany. What are the arguments for or against – ZDF presenter Marcus Lanz also discussed this with his guests on Tuesday night.

The constellation of the interesting group: two responsible politicians and a policy advisor scientist. The guests were Schleswig-Holstein Premier Daniel Gunther (CDU), Tübingen Mayor Boris Palmer (Greens), Hendrik Strick, virologist at the University of Bonn and member of the Federal Government’s expert council, and journalist Serstin Gamelin, deputy editor-in-chief for economic policy in the Parliamentary Office ” Sueddeutsche newspaper”.

Both politicians support the introduction of compulsory vaccination. CDU Prime Minister Günther is walking very slowly. “I would also like us to make faster progress there,” he said, complaining that federal policy was “in full swing.” His justification for the obligation to immunize: It is the “only way” to permanently replace restrictions on fundamental rights in other areas.

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Green Mayor Palmer saw it the same way. In the show, he called for the introduction of compulsory vaccination and then quickly lifted all Corona measures. The duty to vaccinate must apply to persons over 50 years of age.

Palmer of Lanz: ‘To be honest, I’m sick of it’

Palmer explained that the previous pandemic strategy no longer works with this “huge number of cases.” “We need something other than an increasingly bureaucratic individual case organization that produces absurd excesses.” Palmer, who likes to say what he thinks, becomes clear: “Honestly, I’m sick.”

He was of the opinion that the health system would not be overburdened by merely ensuring basic immunization of the population – with two or three vaccinations, and he did not commit himself to it -. “We trade in all the old rules and replace them with one new rule: everyone should be vaccinated. Everyone understands it,” Palmer said. “

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Palmer also did not accept the objection that Germany could not implement compulsory vaccination. Solution: Municipalities can write to all residents and ask for proof of vaccination after four weeks, otherwise a fine will have to be paid. “If there are now 5,000 violations due to compulsory vaccination,” he said with the aim of Tübingen, “I don’t even have to hire staff.”

“But we can’t vaccinate the epidemic away from it,” says Streeck.

So much for political arguments. However, virologist Streeck has doubts about the duty to vaccinate. He can understand the arguments. “But we cannot vaccinate the epidemic without this,” he stressed. “We see that very clearly with the development of the variant. We will have a wave again next year.”

Vaccination is self-protection. “In my opinion, the communication error was saying from the start: We have protection from infection. It’s foreign protection, we get herd immunity. We don’t have that. The individual protects himself, he does something for health care.”

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BONN, GERMANY - AUGUST 18: (Editors' note: Image has been converted to black and white.) German HIV researcher, epidemiologist and clinical trial specialist Professor Dr Hendrik Streeck poses for a photo at Uniklinikum Bonn University Hospital in August 18, 2020 in Bonn, Germany.  Streeck is a leading professor of virology and director of both the Institute of Virology and the Institute for HIV Research at the University Hospital Bonn.  He is also the leader of the COVID-19 Cluster Case Study, also known as the Heinsberg Study, which studies the trajectory of one of the first COVID-19 outbreaks in Germany in the Gangelt community.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Palmer interjected: And all the people who were vaccinated protected the system from overload.

But Streeck was not convinced. So why not address the shortage of staff in clinics?

Streeck: equals recovery to vaccination

His second criticism of compulsory vaccination has to do with the recovering situation. “We’re treating it with extreme neglect,” Strick explained. “Although we already know from studies that, on average, infection occurs after 300 days.” Those who have recovered are very well protected from the acute course, re-infection rarely occurs after vaccination. Hence his demand: that vaccination and convalescence be on an equal footing.

The second step then is to accept the detection of the antibody as evidence of the restored state. Then there is a need for a nationwide study: who has antibodies to corona in their blood? “We don’t know who has protection,” Strick said. “We don’t even know what percentage of the population we’re actually talking about, with which we want to introduce strict measures like compulsory vaccination. I’m worried that we are then chased to pay something, the vaccination quota.”

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Health Minister Karl Lauterbach

Lanz wanted to ask if Streeck had submitted his position to the Council of Experts. But the scientist only said, “We have agreed confidentiality about what we are discussing.” But then he pushed: “But you have to say very clearly: You don’t want to go public with the infection.” Vaccination provides good protection.

Lanz: “Obviously it’s about setting the trigger”

Palmer wanted to know from the researcher whether those who had recovered should be exempted from compulsory vaccination. Strick replied that this is a political question. He cannot estimate the number of people recovered in Germany. He reiterated his refusal to vaccinate again: “Because we don’t do it for other medical matters either, like smoking and bad eating habits. I know I’m moving on difficult ground. But healthcare has always been seen as a personal thing in Germany and not something that is demanded from abroad.” .

Although Green Party politician Palmer disagreed, he was intrigued by the discussion. Palmer and Strick have repeatedly polarized their statements during the pandemic. Then the mayor replied, “I find that really exciting. Because in the two years of this pandemic, I’ve always been happy to see you on TV.” “So that the panic orchestra doesn’t play loudly.”

Streeck has been vilified for a long time. “Now he is a member of the expert council and fortunately he has been recognized again.” He could understand the world’s interpretations, but stuck to his mind: “For me, as a pragmatist, he wonders what the city will be like next fall…I need it now to be resolved.”

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The last point of the program was to shorten the recovery period from six months to three months in Germany. The decision became known through a change on the website of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), and Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) only gave an explanation later. For Marcus Lanz, it is an example of “irregular communication” in an epidemic that is decimating trust.

So the moderator wanted to know from Daniel Gunther: “Obviously it’s about starting a vaccination. It doesn’t work, do people feel it?”

Gunther, the CDU politician, began a long answer. And he admitted: All decisions are political in the end. “Of course, you also want to set certain incentives.” Defend the 2G Plus rule and exemption from testing requirements for enhanced users.

He then added, “I totally agree with you, this decision by the recovering situation to tell people overnight that you are about to lose them is not possible in the pandemic. It costs confidence.” Health Minister Lauterbach also emphasized at the Conference of Prime Ministers that this depends on scientific experience. “However, it is an absolute disaster in terms of communications.”

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