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Germans told they will be 'vaccinated, cured or dead' from Covid-19

Headlines 18:08 22 Nov, 2021

Unvaccinated people are very likely to become infected with the fast-spreading Delta variant

Germans told they will be 'vaccinated, cured or dead' from Covid-19

The coronavirus outbreak will leave most people in Germany “vaccinated, cured or dead”, Health Minister Jens Spahn said on Monday.

Unvaccinated people are very likely to become infected with the fast-spreading Delta variant, he said.

It is the latest stark warning issued by health officials as infection levels reach record highs. Politicians are calling for more people to be vaccinated, with only 68 per cent of Germany’s population currently inoculated.

Under tightened restrictions, people entering their workplace or travelling on public transport will need to show proof they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative.

“At the end of the winter, pretty much everyone in Germany will – as it’s sometimes been put a bit cynically – be vaccinated, cured or dead," Mr Spahn said.

“With the very infectious Delta variant, it’s very, very likely that anyone who is not vaccinated will get infected in the next few months, unless they’re very, very careful in every walk of life.”

He said he remained sceptical of making vaccination compulsory, but would not stand in the way if the majority in parliament sets rules for certain professions.

Mr Spahn is expected to step down in the coming weeks when the next government takes over in Berlin, with coalition talks now in their final phase.

The lagging vaccination drive has left him facing questions about supplies of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot, which was partly developed by a German company and is the preferred choice for many people in the country.

On Monday, he urged the public not to shun the Moderna vaccine as a booster, even if they initially received two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

"Moderna is a good, safe and very effective vaccine. Some vaccinating doctors say BioNTech is the Mercedes of vaccines, and Moderna is the Rolls-Royce,” he said.

Berlin is in talks with BioNTech over extra supplies but cannot yet give details, Mr Spahn said.

Germany reported another 30,463 cases of Covid-19 on Monday, with 62 deaths bringing the overall toll to about 100,000.

The outgoing government agreed to rules with state leaders last week that will allow hospital capacity to be used as the benchmark for new restrictions.

If the burden on hospitals rises above a certain level, unvaccinated people will be barred from certain venues. At very high rates, even the vaccinated will need to provide a negative test result to enter.

Authorities in hard-hit regions such as Bavaria and Saxony have gone further by cancelling large events such as Christmas markets.

But Germany has so far stopped short of matching Austria’s restrictions, with authorities there reimposing a full lockdown and making vaccination compulsory from next year.