D.he number of people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus in Germany is increasing every day. In the past month, an average of 770,000 syringes were given each day, first and second vaccinations combined. But in view of the latest estimates by experts, that is far from being enough to prevent a possible fourth wave of infections in the fall.
For adolescents and adults from twelve to 59, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) considers a vaccination quota of 85 percent to be “necessary and also achievable”, as the RKI announced in a circular. The paper is available on the institute’s website. The calculated target vaccination rate is based on mathematical modeling and the available survey results on vaccination acceptance. In the age group of citizens who are 60 years and older, proportionally even more people have to be protected against the corona virus. The RKI considers a vaccination quota of 90 percent necessary for them. If these vaccination rates were reached in time, “a pronounced 4th wave in the coming autumn / winter seems unlikely,” says the paper.
However, this applies with reservation. According to the experts, these vaccination quotas are only sufficient if citizens also continue to adhere to the basic hygiene measures. In addition, the quotas apply on the assumption that “if the number of infections increases again, contacts will be reduced to a certain extent,” as it is said.
The decisive factor is time. Experts estimate that the more contagious Delta variant will become the dominant mutant in Germany this month. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, currently, up to and including Sunday, almost 57 percent of citizens have received at least one vaccination. 39 percent are fully protected. Until the vaccination quota of 85 percent is reached in all age groups, 36.2 million first vaccinations and 50.9 million second vaccinations have to be administered nationwide.
Based on the mean vaccination rate of the previous month, i.e. from the beginning of June to the beginning of July, the target for the second vaccination would be reached in 111 days. It will take another two weeks after the last vaccination until the last people who have to be vaccinated to meet the quota are fully protected. These citizens would therefore not be largely protected from the virus until the end of the first week of November.
It remains to be seen whether so many people want to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in the end. Experts are already worried about how high vaccination rates can be achieved as quickly as possible – the time of vaccine shortages is now likely to be over in most regions. In order to increase the willingness to vaccinate, Andreas Gassen, the head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians, believes that all corona restrictions for fully vaccinated people should be lifted in September. By then at the latest, a vaccination is possible for anyone who wants it. “Then almost all Corona measures have to go,” Gassen told the Bild newspaper. Otherwise, people would wonder why they should get vaccinated when they have to wear masks anyway.