Wednesday, June 9th 2021
Montgomery im ntv-Interview
Fourth wave – “This is not scare tactics”
When it comes to Corona, Germany is on the right track. The incidence is falling, vaccination is progressing. But in the eyes of the chairman of the board of directors of the World Medical Association of Montgomery, this harbors a danger: people could become careless about vaccinating – and would then receive the receipt for it in the fall.
ntv: The incidence is falling towards 20, many people feel normal. How can you avoid vaccination fatigue now?
Frank Ulrich Montgomery: First of all, we should be happy that we are now at 20. That is a great success, by the way, a very decisive success of the lockdown, which is now being picked up by vaccination. And we just have to make it clear to people: In order to have permanent peace of mind from the virus, we need a vaccination quota of 80 percent of the population. That means we mustn’t stop now. And we have to make it clear to people that the vaccination will only work if it is fully implemented.
How can you make this clear to people?
The Americans made it very interesting, they made real lotteries, threw out gifts. But I don’t think that’s the right way to go. I still rely on people’s intelligence. We won’t reach a few in the process, but compulsory vaccination is not enforceable in Germany, although I actually don’t think it’s so bad.
Can you imagine that you will have to think again about compulsory vaccination in the autumn if you are less willing to vaccinate?
Compulsory vaccination must always weigh up the risk and benefit for the individual. And if the data we currently have on the vaccination of children and adolescents is correct, namely that the disease has almost no effects on them, but the vaccination definitely has side effects, then it will never be possible to deduce that vaccination is mandatory. If we vaccinated children, we would only have a benefit for society, but not for the child, the vaccinee himself. That is why I believe that we are scientifically far from compulsory vaccination for this type of disease.
And what about the adults?
You cannot propose a compulsory vaccination for individual parts of the population, that is not possible. It’s full beard or clean-shaven, either all or none! But no, I believe that this debate cannot be inferred from the scientific facts at the moment.
What consequences would that have in the second half of the year if we don’t come to a vaccination rate of 80 percent, which you just mentioned?
Then we will have to introduce lockdown measures again. There is already a little bit of talk in the background about the impending fourth wave in autumn. This is not scary. If we don’t vaccinate now after successfully breaking the third wave, we run the risk of falling into the same calamity next fall as we had last fall.
If you skip the second vaccination now, what are the consequences?
This would mean that at least the success rates that have been proven in the scientific studies would not be there. In this respect, the degree of immunization in the population decreases, but of course it is still better than if one had not vaccinated at all. If this so-called boost from the second vaccination is missing, we could possibly lose our immunity to the disease again much more quickly. And then we would need all the more intensive new vaccination campaigns in the fall or later. That’s why I can only advise everyone to go to the second vaccination appointment.
There has been no vaccination prioritization since Monday, and the doctors groan because they have not yet vaccinated their risk groups. Now everyone wants a vaccination appointment. When would have been the right moment to suspend vaccination prioritization?
I do believe that the moment is now to go into the field so that family doctors and company doctors can also vaccinate. The best moment would of course have been if there had been enough vaccine for everyone. If all doctors in Germany – company doctors, general practitioners, specialists – acted together and had sufficient vaccine, we would have vaccinated the entire population in two to three weeks. The core shortage is the shortage of vaccines, and now there are administrative problems with it. The solution is: more vaccine. And the government, the European Union, must ensure that sufficient vaccine comes to Germany.
Jens Spahn has announced that the deficiency will be fixed in two to three weeks. Is it realistic that we will have enough vaccine for everyone by the end of the month?
If the delivery commitments made by the companies can be kept, that should actually be the case. It is not always up to the companies if there is no delivery. Sometimes a whole batch breaks down. Suddenly there are a million cans that are simply dropped because there was a production problem. This reminds us once again that making vaccines is not a syrup in the kitchen, it is really a very difficult business.
Nina Lammers spoke to Frank Ulrich Montgomery