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With Cases Surging, German Health Minister Issues Stern COVID Warning

People queue in front of a COVID vaccination center in Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 22, 2021.
People queue in front of a COVID vaccination center in Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 22, 2021.

Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn said Monday the current surge of COVID-19 cases in the country likely means that over the next three months – by the end of winter – everyone in the country will be “vaccinated, recovered or dead.”

Spahn made the stark comment to reporters in Berlin as he discussed efforts to slow the surging COVID-19 situation in the country. The Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases (RKI) on Monday reported more than 30,000 newly confirmed cases in Germany over the past 24 hours, an increase of about 50% compared with a week ago.

RKI reports the national infection rate is just more than 386 per 100,000 people.

Spahn said that is why the government is so urgently telling people to get vaccinated. “Because whoever is not vaccinated will get infected, without protection, in the next months, unless you really take very, very, very good care in every situation.”

Spahn said Germany has as many as 50 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines on hand, available for first and second shots as well as booster shots, which he said was enough for any adult who wants one.

The health minister said he expects the European Union to approve the children’s doses of COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 at the end of the week. He said he expects Germany will receive an initial 2.4 million doses of the children’s doses when the EU begins shipping them December 20, with more doses due after the first of the year.

Some information for this report came from the Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

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