Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn delivered a grim ultimatum to citizens that they face either being “vaccinated, recovered or dead” from coronavirus as they head into the winter, amid new variants which has caused more infections.
Around 68% of the population are fully vaccinated, one of the lowest in Europe, as outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel called for further restrictions to curb the rise in cases.
Minister Spahn issued the dire warning that Germans, stating it was the “reality” for millions of people.
“Probably by the end of this winter pretty much everyone in Germany — as has sometimes been cynically put — will be vaccinated, cured, or dead.
“But this really is the case: With the very contagious Delta variant, it is very, very likely that anyone who is not vaccinated will over the next few months become infected and lack protection.
“In this respect, immunity is always achieved, the question is only whether it is through vaccination or infection. And we clearly recommend vaccination.”
Official figures suggest around 30,000 new coronavirus cases occurred in a 24-hour period in Germany. Around 99,000 people have died in Germany as a result of coronavirus.
Recent data shows 46,558 infections are reported in the country each day, with a rate of 392 infections per 100,000.
On Thursday, Angela Merkel and the heads of Germany’s 16 states agreed to introduce a vaccine mandate for workers in hospitals and care homes.
The lack of vaccinations has not been the only reason why cases have been increasing in Germany.
Germany’s prominent variant is the Delta variant, which is a more infectious strain of the virus, and scientists believe they have identified an even more infectious sub-variant of the disease called AY.4.2.