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Yesterday was a wonderful, bright day in Dresden. I had lunch in my favorite Irish pub “Shamrock“. It has a spacious outdoor area with big shady lime trees. It’s situated in the Altstadt of Dresden, near the Frauenkirche and once in a while you can hear the clip-clop of the horses drawing the carriages to show tourists the beauty of Dresden. I felt myself so jolly that I told to the waitress “What a wonderful day!” She agreed, but was a little surprised about my spontaneous openness. I could see that, because she didn’t wear a mask, me neither, neither the people sitting at the neighbor tables. It was like Corona never had existed.  After the lockdown and my first vaccination I’ve been using the tram again and as I’m a communicative fella often a talk is developing out of the blue at the tram stop. The issue is mostly, of course – Corona. “Are you already vaccinated?” I ask. Especially older people are completely vaccinated. But I often meet strict anti-vaxxers. Even yesterday a woman answered me: “No, and I never will, unless vaccination is mandatory.”

Prof. Wieler, the head of the RKI (Robert-Koch-Institute) once answered to a question about herd immunity in Germany: “In the future we will have two kinds of people: The vaccinated and the people who got Corona.” Wow, that’s a straight answer! And one jab is not enough, except you are vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson, to get the full protection. I don’t know why people stop in the middle of the road they had started to go. Due to that, we discuss in Germany to impose a fine on people who miss their 2nd vaccination, because of the costs they cause. Basically, I think that’s a good idea, but the question is, if force is really the right mean to convince people to get vaccinated. We are nearly 2 years under permanent great pressure, beginning with wearing masks, suffering existential fears and loneliness,  curfews, lockdowns and all the other restrictions, which are of course necessary, but unnatural to our human nature, like social distancing. This fine could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s better to take people seriously and to convince them to get the 2nd jab by addressing their rationality.

You know, that I got my first vaccination in May with AstraZeneca and would have my 2nd vaccination in August, also with AstraZeneca. But these plans are obsolete due to the new recommendation of the Stiko (Ständige Impfkommision) (Standing Committee on Vaccination). It now recommends at least 4 weeks after an AstraZeneca vaccination, a vaccination with a mRNA vaccine with BioNTech or Moderna. Researches have shown a better immune response by combining a vector vaccine with a mRNA vaccine.

Fortunately, today for me is the day to get my 2nd vaccination with BioNTech Pfizer or Moderna. According to the vaccination hotline, Dresden there are enough vaccines available, that I can get my 2nd jab today without an appointment. But I needed patience, they said. But that’s the least problem. I’m waiting since the last two years, alright. I’ll keep you posted! (Volker Schunck)

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