What does the end of vaccination prioritization bring?

The corona vaccination campaign is already picking up noticeably. In a few weeks, guidelines that still ensure priority for certain risk groups are to be dropped. Will that bring the decisive breakthrough?

It is a date that many are impatiently waiting for after grueling months in the corona pandemic: By June at the latest, all people in Germany should be able to be vaccinated, as Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) announced. Then the so-called prioritization should end, which so far defines a sequence of who gets to work and when.

The exact date for this is still unclear and it also depends on how reliably vaccines are delivered. An overview of important questions and answers:

Why is there prioritization at all?

There was and is a lot of criticism of the officially fixed order. But Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) defends the instrument: "Saving human lives is not a bureaucracy." The purpose is to reserve the initially scarce vaccine for people with the highest risk of severe and fatal corona courses: the elderly, the chronically ill and many occupational groups with high levels Risk of infection who cannot go to the home office.

After the first two priority groups, the third and last group should be offered vaccinations in May. There is no fourth group - then everyone has a turn.

What is the vaccination schedule for everyone?

After the vaccination summit with the federal states on Monday, Merkel made plans that not everyone could be given an injection in one fell swoop in June. Everyone could then take care of appointments in the summer.

When exactly the time comes, it will also depend on how quickly the vaccinations of the third prioritization group progress in May. Interested parties are already getting in touch in many practices. The health insurance doctors advise you to inquire by email rather than on the phone.

How is the vaccination status at the moment?

There is no shortage of doctors willing to vaccinate and capacities in the vaccination centers. But there is still a lot less vaccine available than could be injected. For example, there are currently up to 36 doses of Biontech / Pfizer vaccine per week and up to 50 Astrazeneca doses per doctor's practice.

The total number of doses administered daily fluctuated on weekdays between 707,000 and 395,000. 23.9 percent of people in Germany have now been given at least one vaccine dose. 7.3 percent have both - that's 6 million people.

How should the vaccination campaign continue?

According to Spahns, one in four people will be vaccinated by the beginning of May, and one in three by June. Already today there are fewer and fewer unused cans in stockpiles, according to Spahn's department. The company doctors are expected to join the vaccination campaign from June.

Why so late?

"This is due to the amount of vaccine," affirmed a spokesman for Spahn. In companies, those who are not strictly against vaccinations, but would rather not take action themselves, should then be reached more intensively. Merkel assured everyone should be offered a vaccination by the end of summer on September 21.

What do vaccinations do for everyone?

Many hope that this will be the last breakthrough on the way out of the pandemic - and the everyday restrictions. The Robert Koch Institute expects basic immunity in Germany - not eradication of the virus. Not all will or can be vaccinated. And there can always be new virus mutations.

But all of this can be dealt with better. It is foreseeable that those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered from Covid-19 will no longer be subject to restrictions on freedom in the current extent. A corresponding ordinance is to be initiated in the Federal Cabinet next week and approved by the Bundestag and Bundesrat by the end of May.

How far are the vaccinations for the particularly endangered elderly?

This group is particularly important - they carry a particularly high risk of serious illnesses. In the 60 plus generation, the rate of people with at least one vaccination ranges from 43 percent in Thuringia to 63 percent in Bremen. In this age group, only around 14 percent in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and 22 percent in Bremen have full vaccination protection.

What concerns are there with a rapid vaccination clearance?

The German Foundation for Patient Protection warns against fueling a vaccination release rule. General practitioners and vaccination centers were "bombarded" with inquiries, and many asked for an immediate vaccination, said board member Eugen Brysch. Because of insufficient amounts of vaccine, it creates frustration. And: "A greyhound race means that in the end the strongest always wins."

The social association VdK warned that many elderly and sick people were still waiting for appointments. Some could not be vaccinated for medical reasons and there is still no vaccine for children. Therefore, a current negative test must remain a way of attending hairdresser appointments or visits to grandparents.

Is the vaccination campaign running slower than expected?

No. As early as three weeks before the start of the vaccination campaign, Spahn gave the prognosis in December that priorities could be more and more relaxed by the summer - and that there would be enough vaccine for mass vaccinations in the summer. In mid-March, he said it would take a few more weeks for the risk groups to be fully vaccinated. "Only then can we talk about wider openings in society."

Will it work with the summer vacation?

Depends on. The later you travel or the more spontaneously you can react to the pandemic, the easier it is. Quarantine rules currently still apply and, in the case of air travel, test obligations upon return home.

The tourism group Tui, for example, wants to offer trips to Ibiza and Formentera again from May 1st in addition to Mallorca. The Portuguese Algarve, Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Corfu and other destinations are to follow. FTI Touristik sees risk-free summer holidays as possible in Mallorca, Cyprus and Malta.

Coronavirus vaccination infection