“Right now, we’re seeing a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Spahn told Welt on Wednesday. He said hospitals could become overrun in the autumn and winter months because so many people in Germany are still not vaccinated against Covid-19.
He urged people eligible for the vaccine to get their jabs as soon as possible.
“We have fulfilled our promise,” said Spahn. “The vaccine doses are there to get us safely through autumn and winter.”
Vaccinations in Germany have plateaued in recent weeks, raising concerns that the country won’t be able to get through the cooler months unscathed.
Just over 64 percent of people in Germany have received at least one jab and 59.2 percent are fully vaccinated.
Spahn said the federal and state governments are discussing new benchmarks to assess the Covid situation in Germany.
As The Local reported, Spahn plans to make the number of hospital admissions the decisive factor when assessing future Covid measures – rather than the incidence rate of infections.
He said Germany could assess the situation by comparing it to the “very heavy workload” in hospitals last winter.
“For vaccinated and recovered people, there will be no further restrictions,” said Spahn. “No curfews, no contact restrictions, no closures.” That, he said, is a very important signal.
“We are vaccinating Germany back to freedom,” said Spahn. “That’s the real message now for autumn and winter.”
Some critics have questioned if the German government’s insistence on saying there will be no tough Covid measures for vaccinated people is down to the fact that there’s a federal election on September 26th – and the Christian Democrats want to keep voters on their side.
German states on Monday brought in uniform rules for a ‘Covid health pass’ system restricting access to most public indoor spaces to those who are fully vaccinated, have recovered from Covid or to those who have tested negatively for the virus.