Will the Minister of Health save Germany from another harsh Corona winter with new contact restrictions and full intensive care units again with a last-minute campaign? It sounds a little bit like desperation and the last contingent when Jens Spahn calls for a nationwide "week of action" for the next few days in order to finally "drastically" increase the minimally growing vaccination quota as demanded by RKI President Wieler. This is the only way to prevent a “brilliant course” of the fourth wave, which is already rolling in, says the most important pandemic adviser Spahns. In the early summer, Wieler was cautiously optimistic about the then growing willingness to vaccinate and the associated prospect of a mild pandemic autumn - despite the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus.

Less than three weeks before the federal election, Spahn, who is also an important supporter of the Union's candidate for chancellor because of his role as a pandemic fighter, wants to catch up against the spreading virus.

If he can achieve his extremely ambitious goal of getting five million vaccine-tired, vaccine-lazy and vaccine-skeptical, but basically responsive people to the spade in the upper arm within seven days in a national show of strength, that would also be a great success in health policy for the ambitious CDU man.

That would help him and Armin Laschet in a catch-up race that was different for his party, but just as dramatic, until September 26th.

And it would make you forget any omissions in the previous vaccination campaign.

Spahn is pursuing an ambitious vaccination goal

But before Spahn goes into the final vaccination battle next week, as the responsible federal minister, he has to put up with unpleasant questions.

Why did the vaccination campaign with vaccines in abundance, which was so hopefully gaining momentum three months ago after a lot of jerking and a shortage economy, first stalled and then almost came to a standstill?

It is true that there was plenty of information on the subject of vaccination in all reputable media, including the risks and side effects of the new vaccines.

But citizens who listen to the Drosten podcast and who, almost every week at “Illner”, were given all the arguments in favor of a faster vaccination rate in a loop from science journalists, virologists and politicians, are not the target group that matters now.

Where are the information and advertising campaigns aimed at migrant milieus and young people from educationally disadvantaged homes? A campaign commissioned by the Federal Press Office with five popular influencers on social networks turned out to be a flop. And is it possible that in Thuringia, Brandenburg and Saxony, where the vaccination rate is lowest and many reservations about corona measures are greatest, a different approach than in western vaccination strongholds such as Bremen and Schleswig-Holstein? This is a task that the Federal Center for Health Education, which is subordinate to Spahn, should have done. At least as important, and Spahn also sees it self-critically, are the uncomplicated vaccination opportunities in passing, which politicians have been invoking for months,for example with mobile vaccination teams in front of clubs, shopping centers, sports stadiums, beer gardens or other popular meeting places, especially young people. Pharmacies would also be suitable places where immunization could be carried out unbureaucratically without making an appointment.

And why is the greatest incentive to get vaccinated being used so defensively? This is a return to normal life and freedom with the lifting of many restrictions in everyday life and leisure time only for those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered. Only the green-black governed Baden-Württemberg is planning tough 2-G rules, according to which unvaccinated people are largely excluded from public life, even with a corona test, if more than 390 Covid-19 patients are treated in intensive care units nationwide.

It seems to be the fear of alienating voters or of driving them into the arms of the vaccine-skeptical AfD and the lateral thinker movement that drives the Union, SPD and the Greens to avoid the issue so wide. The permission for employers to be able to query the vaccination status of their employees in order to safeguard operational processes in the pandemic should also have an effect on those who don't like vaccinations. Spahn also suspects that appeals (“vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate!”) And a week of action in late summer alone will probably not be enough to get close to the targeted vaccination rate of 85 percent. His demand, already implemented in Rhineland-Palatinate, that workers who could have been vaccinated should be refused payment of wages in the event of a 14-day quarantine,indicates a planned tougher pace in dealing with those unwilling to vaccinate. But not before the general election, that much is certain.

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