In a video in response to questions from citizens during the open days of the German government, Merkel acknowledged that some of the measures introduced in November are “bitter and harsh”, but necessary to control the pandemic.

“We know from other epidemics that the virus was more or less defeated when between 60% or 70% of the population had immunity, either because (people) were cured or because they were vaccinated. all the restrictions have been lifted. Until then we have to live with some restrictions imposed by the virus, “Merkel explained.

The German chancellor did not indicate any time horizon for lifting the restrictions, but expressed hope that “soon” the first vaccines will be authorized.

In Germany, about 660,000 people have been infected so far, representing about 0.8% of the population, notes EFE.

Merkel went on to say that the vaccination period would begin according to a plan currently being finalized by the federal government and the 16 states, with the technical support of several independent bodies such as the Standing Committee on Vaccines, the Leopoldine Academy of Sciences and the Ethics Commission.

Merkel noted that, in principle, nursing home workers, doctors and people at risk, “who are many in our country,” will be vaccinated first.

The vaccination process will depend on the number of vaccines available and the period of immunity it generates. No one will be forced to get vaccinated, it will be everyone’s decision, the German chancellor insisted.