Dispute over vaccine supply: the erroneous oath of office debate

In the vaccine dispute, critics repeatedly refer to the oath of office of Merkel and ministers. However, they ignore the second part of the oath.

Angela Merkel took her oath of office on November 22, 2005 Photo: Sven Simon / imago

The chancellor? An oath breaker? The accusation is currently very popular, initiated by the at the beginning of the year Picture-Newspaper, welcomed by election campaigners of the SPD and meanwhile passed on umpteen times by right-wing national letter writers and Facebook users.

The reasoning in short: In her oath of office, Angela Merkel swore that she would avert harm to the German people. Accordingly, she should have made sure that the Germans get as much as possible of the scarce corona vaccine as quickly as possible. The joint order with the EU partners – among other things with the aim of not driving up prices for everyone – is consequently a breach of the oath. With the same reasoning, Merkel has been accused by the right of breaking oaths in the euro crisis (because of the euro rescue package for other countries) and in the refugee summer 2015 (because of the admission of foreigners).

Fortunately, the oath of office enshrined in the Basic Law does not in fact allow this conclusion to be drawn so easily. On the one hand, not because acting in solidarity does not automatically contradict German interests. In the corona crisis, for example, because a country alone in a networked continent cannot end the pandemic.

On the other hand, the oath of office has a second part. In it the Chancellor swore to uphold the Basic Law and thus human dignity and to exercise “justice towards everyone” – not just towards the population in Germany. From this second part one could deduce that it would be wrong to buy as many vaccine doses as possible from the market. After all, it would be unfair if there were no longer any vaccines available for non-Germans.

Even the oath of office demands a balance between purely German interests and what is morally correct, which can also be altruistic. In the struggle for this one can of course emphasize one or the other more strongly. But a simple answer cannot be derived from the oath.

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Becomes endemic and harmless: model predicts Sars-CoV-2 future

Becomes endemic and harmless
Model predicts Sars-CoV-2 future

Reports of vaccination failures and virus mutations are worrying in the corona pandemic. The prediction of a research team about the future of the Covid-19 pathogen, on the other hand, is a small ray of hope. If the virus develops like its relatives, it will remain, but it will lose its horror.

Nobody can say with certainty what life with Sars-CoV-2 will look like in the future. It is likely that numerous serious Covid 19 diseases and deaths from the virus will still occur worldwide. But now researchers from the USA have presented a study result in which they give the all-clear.

Jennie Lavine’s team from Emory University in Atlanta has made a series of model calculations for the future development of Sars-CoV-2. Based on their results, the researchers assume that Sars-CoV-2 will also develop into an endemic pathogen, i.e. one that then only occurs in certain regions. According to the infectiologist Lavine, Sars-CoV-2 is safe for mankind in the long term. The researchers even go one step further in their statements, which were published in the specialist magazine “Science”: They consider it possible that Covid-19 vaccinations could be unnecessary in the future.

Small children in particular become infected

To develop their model, the research team used the immunological and epidemiological data of the four known human coronaviruses. They are scientifically named NL63, 229E, OC43 and HKU1. All four pathogens repeatedly cause epidemics in different regions of the world, which mainly involve children between the ages of three and five. However, these infectious diseases, as well as Covid-19 in this age group, rarely show severe courses or complications, and the mortality rate is very low.

It is already known that there is only a short, complete immunity after infection with one of the four known coronaviruses. According to a publication from 2009, one can be infected again with the coronavirus 229E after one year, because after this time there is a decrease in the antibodies formed. A comparable development is also indicated for infection with Sars-CoV-2. However, according to the results of the investigation, a new infection with 229E resulted in a shortened virus excretion. In addition, the subjects showed no symptoms.

Partial immunity makes vaccinations unnecessary

Lavine’s team therefore assumes that people acquire lifelong partial immunity through their first coronavirus infection. This could even be strengthened by further infections. It is therefore conceivable that only a few elderly people actually develop it. But it is also conceivable that older people could become infected with coronaviruses, not notice anything and pass the virus on to children. According to Lavine, neither the early onset of the disease nor the high rate of infection in infants and children can be explained without the involvement of older people.

Following this logic, the research team assumes that Sars-CoV-2 will also become an endemic pathogen. In this case, the vaccinations that have just started could be discontinued worldwide in a few years. The acquired partial immunity in the older population group would only rarely lead to severe courses and deaths. Children, on the other hand, need the infection in order to build up partial immunity. However, if the first infection in children would also result in serious illnesses, these would have to be protected by a vaccination.

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Global Health: There is no date to eliminate Corona, and we hope to reach a final solution

Dr. Rana Al-Hajjah, Director of Programs Department at the World Health Organization for the Eastern Mediterranean said: There is no date for the elimination of Corona, but we hope in this new year to reach a final solution to this virus, remove masks from the face of citizens and return life to normal, explaining that everyone in this period must focus On the precautionary measures and commitment to wearing a mask, spacing and washing hands frequently.

Dr. Rana Al-Hajjah, Director of the Programs Department at the World Health Organization for the Eastern Mediterranean, confirmed that studies are currently being conducted on people recovering from the Coronavirus to find out the presence of antibodies, and for how long the antibody activity continues in the body to avoid infection with the Coronavirus.

She added, during a telephone interview with the “DMC Evening” program, presented by the journalist Rami Radwan, that some studies said 8 months, in some cases less, and in some cases more, indicating that everyone must adhere to the precautionary measures, and that the organization will issue a statement if something is reached Final.

Dr. Rana Al-Hajjah, Director of the Programs Department of the Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean at the World Health Organization said: We notice the increase in the number of injuries in most countries of the region as a result of the increase in mixing and parties, and therefore with the increase in injuries, the number of deaths increased, noting that the data received from Egypt must be reviewed with the Ministry of Health. And the percentage of the examinations that are conducted in Egypt, and the Ministry announced that not everyone is being examined, and the important thing is that the virus is still present, and the precautionary measures must not be eased.

She added: It is not the first time that epidemics appear, and examination and arrival are conducted, but the announcement of the virus’s presence came in a second stage or after a period of the virus’s appearance, and the virus was not present in the serious epidemiological form in which it spread last year.

And she continued: It depends on the presence of a huge amount of research and studies and the speed to collect the information necessary to investigate and trace the origins of the virus, and it can take more than two weeks.

She emphasized that there are several diseases that occur from bats, the most dangerous of which is rabies, and the patient they are talking about in France must study the case and find out the cause of death, but so far there is no certainty, that the Corona virus is a disease that is only a year old, and there are symptoms we used to see in other viral diseases, It is possible that the injured person after recovery for a period of these symptoms, especially because of the psychological effect that accompanies the patient after recovery for a period, and from the organization’s recommendations for treatment from Corona, public health care and drinking water, and treatment includes proper food and restrained sleep, and there is no long-term treatment except for those who entered intensive care Or if they have other bacterial complications.

She indicated that there are some countries that announced the existence of the new strain, and there are a lot of experiments on vaccines, are they effective on the new strain or not, and Pfizer announced the effectiveness of the drug on the new strain.

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Corona in the EU: Zoff about vaccine

The EU adds more when ordering vaccines. The fact that Berlin secures a larger contingent is causing displeasure among smaller countries.

With one ampoule, six instead of five vaccinations should now be possible Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa

BRUSSELS taz | The EU has shifted up a gear in the fight against the coronavirus. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Friday in Brussels a new order from the vaccine consortium of Biontech and Pfizer. Another 300 million vaccine doses have been ordered, doubling the previous order, said von der Leyen.

In addition, the EU approved better use of the Biontech preparation. With one ampoule, six instead of five vaccinations should now be possible, so that 20 percent more people could be protected. This was announced by the Medicines Agency EMA. Despite this “good news” (von der Leyen) criticism of the vaccination strategy continues.

The vaccine is not being delivered quickly enough and the vaccinations started too slowly in view of the worsening corona crisis, according to many EU countries. The anger was particularly loud in Germany at first. But there is also massive criticism of the strategy in Belgium, France and the Netherlands, which is coordinated in Brussels but implemented at national level.

The start was a bit bumpy, admitted von der Leyen. This is “always the case” with major new projects such as vaccine procurement, which Brussels had organized for the first time. However, she is “deeply convinced that this European path is the right one,” said the CDU politician, who coordinates closely with Chancellor Angela Merkel.

New factory in Marburg

However, it will be a few more weeks before the shortage of vaccines is overcome. Biontech is already not keeping up with the orders. The new order from Brussels will therefore only be processed from the second quarter, i.e. probably from April. Biontech is currently building a new factory in Marburg. She should secure the new quotas.

Deliveries from Moderna, the second vaccine supplier approved in the EU, also take time. In the first quarter, only just under 2 million cans should come to Germany – of 50 million that Berlin has secured. Moderna, which wants to deliver from next Tuesday, will therefore not contribute to a relaxation – and if so, then only from April.

Von der Leyen and Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn are under massive pressure to “deliver” faster. Many observers in Brussels consider the new order from Biontech to be a direct result of German pressures. At the same time, there is growing displeasure in the EU that Germany should receive more vaccine than its share.

Germany is normally entitled to 18.6 percent of all doses according to its population. The largest EU country has significantly increased its share in both Moderna and Biontech. First Spahn ordered 30 million extra cans from Biontech. Now he has also secured a higher quota at Moderna – allegedly because other EU countries had waived.

Fair share

But these countries are now demanding their “fair” share. Again Spiegel reported, this has caused massive controversy in the steering committee set up by the EU. Poland and Belgium in particular apparently called for the redistribution to be withdrawn. But Germany and the Netherlands are not ready to back off.

Von der Leyen avoided addressing the dispute at her press conference. He could be dangerous to her. The CDU politician is already suspected in some capitals of working too closely with Merkel and of giving preference to Germany.

Another annoyance is that von der Leyen refuses to disclose the contracts. All EU states had agreed “legally binding” to only order vaccines together, said von der Leyen on Friday. There could therefore be “no parallel negotiations, no parallel contracts”. She did not respond to several inquiries about the special deliveries to Germany. The question of possible sanctions also remained unanswered.

The European vaccination strategy was developed in summer 2020 under the German EU presidency. It is a central component of the European fight against the corona crisis. It is controlled jointly by all 27 EU countries. Nothing happens without the express consent of all member states, it is said in Brussels.

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Difficulty sleeping and damaged testicles are the dangers of chasing people who have recovered from the Corona virus

A Chinese study published in the medical journal The Lancet revealed The LancetOn some of the side effects that people with Corona virus with long symptoms suffer, as it was found that the inability to sleep is one of the most important complications that the infected may suffer even after recovering from the infection, according to a report published in the Daily Star.

The study was conducted on 1733 people who were admitted to Jin Yin Tan Hospital in China, where it was found that symptoms of the Corona virus may last for up to six months, as it showed that patients who had been infected for the first time in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, were still suffering from Many symptoms, including difficulty sleeping.

The study indicated that 63% of patients who were infected with the Coronavirus still suffer from fatigue, while another 26% had difficulty sleeping, while a third of patients whose data were examined suffered from kidney dysfunction and the accumulation of bodily waste in blood cells, and also suffered Men have reported the possibility of damaging testicle tissue as a symptom of “long Covid”

The researchers also found long-term lung damage in a large number of patients, as about 400 X-ray images showed signs of “crushed glass” in the lung tissue, causing shortness of breath in patients, and many also failed to take a lung performance test.

And the results of the study found that most patients still suffer from some effects of the virus even after leaving the hospital, as 25% of patients suffered from depression and anxiety after half a year of entering the hospital for treatment..

The study indicated that a small percentage of people infected with Corona have low levels of antibodies, which means that they will not be protected from infection with the virus more than once.

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Difficulty sleeping and damage to the testicles are the dangers of chasing those recovering from the Corona virus

A Chinese study published in the medical journal The Lancet revealed The Lancet, About some of the side effects that people with Coronavirus sufferers with long symptoms suffer, as it was found that the inability to sleep is one of the most important complications that the infected may suffer even after recovering from the infection, according to a report published in the Daily Star.

The study was conducted on 1733 people who were admitted to Jin Yin Tan Hospital in China, where it was found that symptoms of the Corona virus may last for up to six months, as it showed that patients who had been infected for the first time in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, were still suffering from Many symptoms, including difficulty sleeping.

The study indicated that 63% of patients who contracted the Coronavirus still suffer from fatigue, while another 26% had difficulty sleeping, while a third of patients whose data were examined suffered from kidney dysfunction and the accumulation of bodily waste in blood cells, and also suffered Men have reported the possibility of damaging testicular tissue as a symptom of “long Covid”.

The researchers also found long-term lung damage in a large number of patients, as about 400 X-ray images showed signs of “crushed glass” in the lung tissue, causing shortness of breath in patients, and many also failed to take a lung performance test.

And the results of the study found that most patients still suffer from some effects of the virus even after leaving the hospital, as 25% of patients suffered from depression and anxiety after half a year of entering the hospital for treatment..

The study indicated that a small percentage of people infected with Corona have low levels of antibodies, which means that they will not be protected from infection with the virus more than once.

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The case of Wael Al-Ibrashi calls for his hospitalization

Dr. Muhammad Awad Tajuddin, Advisor to the President of the Republic for Health Affairs, revealed the effectiveness of the new Corona vaccine, stressing that all scientific bodies have confirmed that the vaccine reduces the rates of infection with the virus.
Tajuddin added, in a telephone interview with the journalist Syed Ali, presenter of the “Honorable Citizen” program broadcast on the “Al-Hadath Today” screen, this evening, Monday, that there is a timetable for vaccines, as the Ministry began preparing programs and centers to administer vaccines, and the priorities for Medical teams, The elderly, and patients with chronic diseases.

He stressed that there is no single agency or institution or one country that can produce a quantity of vaccines for the targeted number in the world, and the sources will be multiple.

Taj El-Din, Advisor to the President of the Republic for Health Affairs, revealed the latest developments in the health of the artist Yusra and Khaled Selim, and the journalist Wael Al-Ibrashi.

Taj al-Din said that the result of the Corona swab of the artist Yosra and Khaled Selim appeared yesterday and was negative.

Regarding the developments in the health of the journalist Wael Al-Ibrashi, the advisor to the President of the Republic for Health Affairs responded, saying, “Wael Al-Ibrashi’s case is still in the hospital, and he has some time.”

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150 participants confirmed: Russia is testing “light version” of vaccine

150 participants confirmed
Russia is testing “light version” of vaccine

A new version of the Russian corona vaccine “Sputnik V” is entering the test phase. This so-called “light version” is said to be effective more quickly, but it also has a major disadvantage.

Russia has started testing a “light version” of its corona vaccine “Sputnik V”. According to its own information, the Ministry of Health in Moscow has now given permission for it. The clinical studies should be used over the next few months to find out how safe the agent is and how well it works.

150 volunteers took part in the tests. According to earlier information, “Sputnik Light” should offer protection less long, but it should be more effective. Two injections are normally required when vaccinated with “Sputnik V”, and immunity should only develop within 42 days.

In Russia, the vaccinations against the corona virus have been running for a month. More than 1.5 million people have already been vaccinated. The light vaccine is of interest to many countries around the world that are trying to “save as many lives as possible” in the fight against the virus, said the head of the state direct investment fund, Kirill Dmitriev, according to the Tass agency. The fund co-finances the vaccine and markets it abroad.

Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin had recently put pressure on nationwide vaccination. According to earlier information, 70 percent of the population should have received an active ingredient against the virus by November. The country with its 146 million people wants to have half a billion vaccine doses produced this year – mainly for export.

According to official statistics, more than 3.4 million people have been infected in Russia since the pandemic began in the spring. For today, the authorities reported 23,300 new cases within one day, significantly fewer than last. The virus mutation from Great Britain was found in one patient at the end of December. The case was only now known.

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British Health: The new strain of Corona is more contagious due to its multiplication in the throat

A study conducted by Public Health England and the University of Birmingham in Britain revealed that the new strain of coronavirus is 70% more contagious than the original because it multiplies faster in the throat, and scientists found that the swabs taken from the nose and throat of Corona patients with the latest strain, known as B117 , It had ‘high viral loads’ compared to samples taken from patients with the original strain.

And according to the British newspaper, “Daily Mail”, higher levels of corona were detected in materials collected on swabs from patients with the strain B117, Which indicates a more serious case of the virus, and evidence of why the virus is transmitted more easily.

Michael Kidd, who led the study, told the newspaper The Mirror The results could help explain how the strain multiplied in every person he infects, but he said it was “difficult to determine” why the virus was spreading as quickly as it was spreading.

The study states: “It is clear that the higher viral loads are derived from samples [المتغير الجديد، المشار إليها بهدف غير قابل للاكتشاف من الجين S الفيروسي] It can determine how infectious people are, and thus the ability of the virus to transmit.

She added that the samples of the new variant “witnessed an increase in the relative viral load between 10 and 1000 times” compared to the samples of the original virus.

However, the study confirms that it is unable to fully establish the cause of the increased transmission on the new variant, due to other factors that could spread the virus more quickly, including “human behavioral factors.”

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And the new strain of the virus, which contains the protein “spike” mutated abroad that makes it better at invading the body, was announced back to someone in Britain in September, which is believed to be its first case anywhere in the world.

London School of Health scientists warned in December that the variable could have a transmission rate so much higher than its predecessor that lockdowns would be able to stop it no more than doubling the death toll by June.

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Palestinians are waiting for immunization: Israeli vaccination pioneer under fire

Israel is vaccinating at record speed, Palestinians are still waiting for their doses. The question of who is responsible for inequality is causing controversy.

Discrimination? Israelis are vaccinated, but the majority of Palestinians are not Photo: dpa

BERLIN taz | Vaccination world champion or apartheid state? The success reports about Israel’s Covid vaccination campaign are causing a heated debate around the world. Many admire the country after Benjamin Netanyahu’s government vaccinated more than a tenth of the population in no time at all. Critics, however, object that the Palestinians are excluded from the territories occupied by Israel – more than four million people.

First of all: Israel will remain vaccination champion even if the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are included in the bill. According to government figures, around 1.5 million people in Israel have already received a first dose of vaccine. Depending on the calculation, that is between 10 and 16 percent of the people living in Israel or in Israel and the Palestinian territories. Either way, the country is a long way ahead worldwide.

But it is also a fact that it is almost exclusively Israelis who are allowed to roll up their sleeves. The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have to wait for the vaccination to start – probably for weeks. On Tuesday, the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that the first vaccine doses were not expected until February.

The contrast is strongest in the case of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which are illegal under international law. Israeli citizens who have access to vaccinations and Palestinians with no prospect of a syringe live here in the immediate vicinity.

Serious allegations from Amnesty and HRW

So is a significant part of the population discriminated against? Amnesty International called on Wednesday: “The Israeli government must stop ignoring its international obligations as an occupying power and ensure that the Palestinians living under occupation (…) receive an equal and fair supply of COVID-19 vaccines.”

Even for the lawyer Kenneth Roth, managing director of Human Rights Watch, there is no question “discriminatory treatment”, as he did on Twitter wrote. A number of Palestinian and Israeli human rights organizations had previously formulated legal arguments in a joint statement:

“Article 56 of the 4th Geneva Convention expressly provides that an occupier has the obligation (…) to take preventive measures necessary to combat the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics”. This duty includes supporting the purchase and distribution of vaccines to the (…) Palestinian people. “

However, this is what the Israeli lawyer and media activist sees Daniel Pomerantz different, the opposite is even the case: from a legal point of view, Israel should not interfere in the Palestinian vaccination strategy without the leadership in Ramallah asking for it, he told the taz. The background: In 1995 the Israelis and Palestinians agreed that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would be responsible for health care.

Annex III, Article 17, of the Oslo II Agreement states:

“The Palestinian side will (…) apply the current vaccination standards for Palestinians (…).”

And further:

“Israel and the Palestinian side exchange information about epidemics and contagious diseases, work together to combat them, and develop methods for sharing medical records and documents.”

Ramallah relies on Russian vaccine

There is certainly cooperation in the health sector, including with Covid-19 tests, but it does not exist when developing a vaccination strategy. Nothing is known about an official request from the PA to the Israeli government to provide vaccine for the occupied territories as well. The Palestinian Ministry of Health did not respond to a taz request.

“Legally,” says Pomerantz, “the PA has the right to make this decision, and Israel must not disregard it.” Instead of working with Israel, the PA has pursued its own strategy over the past few weeks: while Israel is on the expensive ones Vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna, the management in Ramallah claims to have primarily – but not exclusively – tried to obtain the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

The PA applied for support from the Covax initiative launched by the WHO, which aims to promote the equitable distribution of cheap vaccines in poorer countries as well. So far, however, no vaccine has arrived in the Palestinian territories.

With the PA’s own vaccination policy, the situation becomes even more complicated. Because the Sputnik vaccine developed in Russia is not approved in Israel. Without Israeli cooperation, however, he will hardly get into the occupied territories, since Israel controls the borders. “Israel cannot pass on a vaccine that is not approved for its own citizens,” warned the human rights organizations in their joint statement.

Human rights activists: Oslo doesn’t matter

In response to a request from the taz, neither the Israeli organization Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) nor Amnesty International want the PA to apply. While the Oslo Accords transferred health care to the PA, “the extent of Israel’s control over the movement of people and goods, including health workers, patients and medical equipment, has resulted in that responsibility being primarily name”, announced PHR director Ran Goldstein on Wednesday.

Amnesty International argues in a similar way: “The Palestinian system of government is very limited in terms of what it can and cannot control,” Saleh Higazi, deputy Middle East director, told taz. Israel bear with it continue to take responsibility for the right of the Palestinians to health, they both agree.

“By developing a vaccination program that ignores an entire population group under its control, Israel has further exposed the system of institutionalized discrimination,” says Higazi, “a system in which a group is legally granted rights and protection during one others are also denied the same rights and protection by law. “

The legal controversies change little for people living under occupation. As long as the PA does not actively seek coordination and the Israeli government does not feel responsible, they will probably not receive any of the possible vaccines in the next few weeks, while at least some of the settlers in the immediate vicinity should soon be immune to this Coronavirus.

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