Germany’s Health Minister changes tune on vaccine injuries
Karl Lauterbach is having a dramatic fall from grace
Outside of Germany, few people have heard of Karl Lauterbach, Germany’s Minister for Health. But he’s one of the key figures in the Western Covid response. Once hailed as a hero, he’s now engulfed in the biggest vaccine-injury scandal to have emerged since the pandemic.
Lauterbach has served in the role since December 2021, under the traffic light coalition led by Olaf Scholz. Often described as “Germany’s Fauci”, Lauterbach — a professor of health economics and epidemiology and long-time member of the SPD — rose to national prominence early on into the pandemic as a Covid hardliner.
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In his role as an advisor to Angela Merkel and prominent TV and Twitter commentator, and then as the country’s health minister, Lauterbach adopted an aggressively pro-lockdown and pro-vaccination stance, claiming that his aim was to vaccinate every single German — through the imposition of mandates, if necessary — in order to achieve so-called “herd immunity”.
Like most countries, Germany didn’t make vaccination legally mandatory for the general population, but rather made it de facto mandatory by making one’s Covid status a precondition for leading anything resembling a normal life — and making life impossible for the unvaccinated, including through targeted lockdowns.
A small but vocal minority of politicians — including the far-Left Sahra Wagenknecht and the far-Right AfD — opposed Lauterbach’s mass vaccination policies, warning about the side effects of these novel mRNA-based vaccines. Lauterbach responded by claiming — not only in a now-infamous tweet but also in several talk shows — that the Covid vaccines were “without side effects”. It was an astonishing claim, considering numbers from Germany’s own Ministry of Health showed (also repeated by Lauterbach himself) that reported serious adverse events occurred in one in 5,000 vaccinations. This increased up to 2 in 1,000 for all suspected adverse events.
Those words are now coming back to haunt Lauterbach. Over the past two years, more than 300,000 cases of vaccine side effects have accumulated in the Ministry’s own system, and more and more people are lodging compensation claims against the state — which, based on the contracts signed by the EU with vaccine manufacturers, is liable for any vaccine-related damage. Meanwhile, the subject of vaccine injuries has begun to be openly discussed in the German mainstream media.
All this has forced Lauterbach to make a spectacular U-turn. In a recent TV interview, he admitted that vaccine-induced injuries are a serious issue, and that his ministry was planning to launch a programme to investigate the negative consequences of Covid vaccination and improve care as soon as possible. Additionally, Lauterbach said that he hopes pharmaceutical companies will voluntarily help to compensate those harmed by the vaccines. “That’s because the profits have been exorbitant”, he said. Just a year ago he had said: “The pharmaceutical companies will not get rich with vaccines”.
Lauterbach’s words were welcomed by opposition parties, with the CDU now calling for an inquiry to investigate the government’s Covid response, but drew mixed reactions from his own coalition allies. “Such statements don’t contribute to strengthening Germany as a research and medicine location,” said the pharmaceuticals expert of the FDP coalition party — a reference to BioNTech’s recent decision to boost its investment in the country. This also explains Scholz’s silence.
It’s hard to imagine a more ruinous fall from grace for Lauterbach: in just over a year he’s gone from national hero to symbol of the pandemic failures. On this issue, we may only be beginning to scratch the surface.
“It’s hard to imagine a more ruinous fall from grace for Lauterbach…”
My question is what does this “fall from grace” mean, in practical terms, for Lauterbach?
It appears he has suffered reputational damage with the German public. What will happen to his career, though? Will he have to step down as Minister for Health? If so, what will he then do? Will he return to academic life, perhaps as a senior administrator given his experience in government? Will he be given lucrative board seats at pharmaceutical companies? Will he take up a senior position at the WHO or some other NGO?
Will he, and other leaders who issued similar advice about the vaccines, and who, directly or indirectly, forced people to take them, face any significant penalties?
Just for the record, I took the initial Pfizer vaccines willingly. Soon after I developed a minor immune problem. My oldest living relative now refuses to take any more covid vaccines because of the intense reaction she experiences with them. Her daughter now suffers from a rare form of vasculitis (inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels) that started soon after the vaccines.
I’m not anti-vax. I took the covid vaccines willingly because the intense media campaign convinced me of covid’s severity. But I now hear from many people who are having problems associated with these mRNA vaccines, but still governments and media are largely downplaying any problems while at the same time urging kids under 5 to get vaccinated even though kids are at almost zero risk from this disease.
It might well be possible to develop a safer covid vaccine. By the bizarre logic of legal liability, however, will Pfizer and Moderna even try to improve the safety of their vaccines because to do so would impliedly admit there was a safety problem in the first place?
There doesn’t seem to be any true accountability for these people. And it seems like most people embraced and appreciated the most repressive authoritarian Covid policies. Very discouraging.
My first clue that mRNA shots were dangerous was the intense media campaign. Back in 2009, the H1N1/Swine Flu barely got a mention. So what was up with this thing? And why was the exact scenario war-gamed in October 2019 as Event 201? Why were common, inexpensive treatments like Ivermectin and the doctors who urged their use demonized and censored? Why did we get the truly strange media campaign claiming Vitamin D was bad?
It was clear world populations were being prepared for something heinous with the useless masks, six-feet-apart markers on supermarket floors, lines behind yellow tape at Home Depot, the blitz of get your shots! messages everywhere . . . How anyone could have thought this was all on the level is beyond me.
The truth is that a covid vaccine is not required nor was it ever required.
Sorry to break it to you, but based on your shots, your immune system is most likely depleted to a level that the next cold or flu season (or shingles, HIV, etc) will most likely be disastrous or possibly fatal. Read: Kirsch, Crawford, McCullough, Bridle, van den Bossche and anything on Daily Sceptics etc etc.That’s how angry you should be with f**ing Lautershit. You’re asking what should happen to his career? Given what’s going to happen to you, that really is not the right question. This is criminal negligence on an national level. Not some “mistakes were made” routine. I knew in Q4 2020 that these shots were sh*t and I am not a medical expert. How could the establishment not have known from the start?
If Lauterbach really did say vaccines are without side effects then he knows nothing about medicines, which is inconceivable.. I assume he meant “relatively” side effect free. ALL medicines, without exception have side effects and the only reason for using them is that the risk of side effects (in frequency and severity) is FAR outweighed by the risk of contracting the disease (virus) and suffering serious illeffects.. because one must factor into the latter category the chance (positive risk) of not contracting the virus in the first place as well as suffering non serious effects from that.
I believe the risk from contracting the disease greatly outweighed the risk of side effects for those aged 75+.
However, the case was less strong for 55-75 yr olds but probably strong enough nonetheless. Once you start vaccinating healthy under 55 year olds the case is, in my opinion, marginal and zero coercion was the proper course. There was no case whatever for vaccinating under 35 yr olds; and vaccinating children was, in my opinion a criminal act..
It must be remembered that longterm side effects have longer and longer to run the younger you are.. a serious lifelong side effect in a child means 60+ years of suffering. I believe those who succumbed to Big Pharma pressures should be in jail and as for the Big Pharma guys themselves, jail is far too good for them.
If the Big Pharma guys intentionally misled the public or politicians, then, of course, they should be in jail. However, recall that everyone was screaming for vaccines and Pharma did what they could to come up with something. It’s our politicians who forced us to take the vaccines before their impact was known. They are the real villains. Pharma should, however, invest much of their windfall profits into better vaccines and/or recompense for the most severe problems.
Please UnHerd be brave and interview Edward Dowd
Maybe the dominos are beginning to fall. It’s one thing to recommend an untried medicine on the basis of comparative risk, quite another to impose on people whilst knowingly lying about the side effects.
All those who did that should be held strictly to account.
It could not have happened to a nicer guy.
In a cabinet anyway distinguished by truly breathtaking tone-deafness and incompetence, Lauterbach still managed to excel in those skills by standard deviations.
The hard earned reputation for competence of the German ruling class seems to be fraying a little
To put it mildly.
The number of ailments either being attributed to Long Covid or the Vaccine seems infinite.
The only thing one can say for certain is the whole Pandemic experience heightened hypochondria. And as we know from other debates, the endeavour to position oneself as a victim of someone or something is one of the great themes of the 21stC.
Heightened hypochondria? I think it’s the exact opposite in those who were skeptical in the first place, and others waking up to what was done in the name of The Science. Trust in the medical profession and its so-called experts -clearly in the pay of pharmaceutical companies and pressured by government – has plummeted. Healthy suspicion has replaced it.
“Healthy suspicion has replaced it.”
I’d go further and say that for many it has been replaced by outright cynicism, and who (WHO?) could blame them?
I had the strangest, most painful and prolongued vaccine related side effects I have ever encountered from any medication I have ever taken. It is the closest I have ever felt to death. Covid was a breeze in comparison! Despite this I feel lucky, and relatively unscathed by the pandemice. So, I’d wager that you are half correct – many people in the world have experienced heightened hypochondria as a result of this pandemic, but I find your insinuation that these hypochondriacs are endeavouring to position themselves as victims, is cynical. Many of them genuinely are victims.
Mark Steyn was a presenter on GB news who regularly reported on the vaccine side effects, but was effectively suppressed by Ofcom for doing so.
Time for a bit of context. Of course vaccines can cause harm – all medicines can. Next time you have a headache, check the leaflet that comes with your Paracetamol. Pancreatitis anyone?
The key is to assess the risk/reward trade off for different risk groups, which is what was done in the UK and no doubt everywhere else. That’s why the vaccination programme started with the elderly and otherwise most vulnerable, and then proceeded down the age groups until it reached an age where the vaccine was not encouraged. And the advice was different for different vaccines, as it should be.
As for compensation for vaccine-related damage, it would appear from the article that Germany doesn’t have the equivalent of our Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979. It’s entirely normal for the state to pick up this responsibility for any vaccine for which there is a public health programme. This is because the state is encouraging people to have the vaccine in the interests of the population at large, not just for the individual’s own benefit.
A welcome note of sanity! Thanks, Dougie.
A bit more context might include the fact that for so many people these shots were mandated, based on the deceptive claim that they would stop transmission of a virus whose effects were in any case vastly overstated.
The key is to assess the risk/reward trade off for different risk groups, which is what was done in the UK and no doubt everywhere else.
The fact that you have received so many downvotes for a balanced and accurately observed comment show how unwelcome facts are with a significant proportion of Unherd’s readership.
His comments were not accurate.
If you looked at ONS data it was clear at least by June 2020, that covid was not dangerous for anyone healthy below age of 60.
But government and MSM message was to vaccinate everyone including children.
For the record the government itself downgraded Covid from a disease of high consequence early in 2020. There was no need for lockdown and panic, no need to keep the fear going artificially over the course of serial lockdowns in order to give time for the production of the vaccines and the roll out of mass vaccination programs = especially given that they were to prove not entirely safe and effective. Even Gates himself has recently spoken out against them.
“As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be an HCID in the UK. ” from gov.uk
“Germany doesn’t have the equivalent of our Vaccine Damage Payments Act 1979”
Was it not the case that the vaccines (though not actually vaccines, but gene therapy) were provided to the UK, and indeed all countries, on the proviso that the manufacturers would not be held responsible for any adverse outcome?
My problem with these vaccine discussions is that it is easy to have a strong opinion with hindsight. Hindsight is very convenient.
Back in 2020 COVID hit us like a tsunami. Nobody knew what to expect. People in government took advice but everybody had different advice – which to believe?
There were articles about how long the virus could survive on different surfaces – the best was copper where the virus only lasted for a few seconds. There was a post on UnHerd from a professor in New Zealand for all handrails in public places to be replaced by new versions made from copper. My neighbour used to go food shopping and put all of her purchases into a washing machine cycle before she would handle the wrapping.
Nobody knew. Now comes hindsight to rescue us all.
I agree with your point about hindsight and that many severe measures were justified in the earliest days of the pandemic when we knew little about this virus.
My criticism focusses on the unwillingness of governments throughout the world to change their response in light of what we learned about the virus, and vaccines, over time. It soon became evident, for example, that only the oldest and sickest people were at serious risk from the virus. And when the vaccines arrived we soon learned they did not prevent transmission and so, for example, there was no reason to force children to be vaccinated in order to attend school.
To this day, the US government urges vaccination for under fives. Why? These young children are at almost no risk from the virus and we have mounting evidence of side effects from the vaccines.
Yes agreed. But you need to apply a timescale to this. For the first year, say March 2020 to March 2021, people didn’t know. There came rumours of vaccines and people in conversation were almost praying for a vaccine. It was automatic that when a vaccine came, people would take advantage of it.
It became evident that the virus affected old people. But those people were the ones who were most terrified. If you had said in March ‘21, ‘OK, we don’t need vaccinations after all’, none of the older people would have believed it.
With this uncertainty in the old, the problem with children was transmission to the old. Yes, we know today that the vaccine does not prevent transmission but when did we know that, exactly? I don’t mean when was it first mooted, I mean when did everybody know? I don’t think you can answer that definitively because there was a plethora of conflicting stories floating around.
I agree with your last paragraph of course.
It was reported in March 2020 that children were practically unaffected by the novel Ch!na virus.
There never has been evidence for asymptomatic transmission.
Given a plethora of other obvious fabrications on the part of the medical industry, and the lack of persuasive evidence, why was there reason to believed the new shot “worked”? Especially given the emotive language used to promote it by hospital officials and other interested parties.
In any case, by early fall 2021 every shot recipient I knew was getting the flu they were supposedly vaccinated against.
“There never has been evidence for asymptomatic transmission.”
Unfortunately with this goldilocks virus presymptomatic = asymptomatic for up to 3 days before you succumb to symptoms and in that time frame transmission may occur.
2 papers from jurisdictions with draconian test and trace :
Assessing asymptomatic, pre-symptomatic and symptomatic transmission risk of SARS-CoV-2. Clin Infect Dis. https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/73/6/e1314/6193430
Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 – Singapore, January 23-March 16, 2020 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32271722/
These vaccines were never designed to prevent infection, only reducing the chances of you getting really sick. The original trials make this clear that was the case because they weren’t human challenge trials.
Only one vaccine has ever been produced that seems so far, to provide sterlising immunity (prevents infection up front) and that is the HPV vaccine.
“These vaccines were never designed to prevent infection, only reducing the chances of you getting really sick.”
Then why did those foremost world ‘authorities’ state otherwise so indefatigably?
There was data from Israel in 2021, that the vaccine did not stop you catching the virus. Sadly those stating this weren’t given the airtime.
We moved to Florida – supposedly ground zero for Covid deaths (a lie) at the height of the panic. Didn’t submit to the shots, and we’re in our 60s. Not everyone was terrified. Or credulous.
I am sorry but it was obvious from ONS data by June 2020, that covid was not dangerous for anyone healthy below age of 60.
Only government and MSM lies persuaded most people that they need vaccinations.
Not dangerous to anyone below 60? Other than the thousands of people who errrm, died.
Transmission. Depends on the variant as you would expect. Some efficacy with alpha (at least in the UK and Scotland). Less efficacy as the virus evolved.
Good narrative review with decent references in the BMJ here :
What do we know about covid vaccines and preventing transmission?
From what I have read lately of the BMJ blocking discussion, I don’t hold it in any regard.
No, I’m not a doctor, but have often resorted to the BMJ for guidance in the past. I am now far more sceptical.
No. We knew. Right from the start.
We didn’t all have our heads stuffed up our rear ends.
This is not knowing. This is more intellectual people thinking they know.
wtf is this?
I remember, and whole not going quite afa the washing machine I did wipe the packaging and took other serious precautions.. But I was 70+ then and felt my immune system was very poor against the common cold (another Corona virus).. and yes, I had 4 shots afa as I could get them. I weighed up the risks from all the information I could muster. But 3 things were clear from (almost) the beginning:
1. The Great Barrington Declaration was the correct response (isolate the vulnerable: easy) not try to contain the virus (impossible).. and
2. Healthy young people were at minimal risk – there was no real case for vaccinating anyone under 45.. certainly no one under 35 and
3. Vaccinating children was a criminal act as there had been no testing on children, and healthy children were at almost zero risk.
I’m sorry but anyone with a fig of intelligence realised that tthe vaccines were going to prove inadequate or even dangerous. Why else were the likes of Pfizer etc given a hold harmless . I emailed friends and relatives in 2020 to warn them but all I got was silence or aggression.
Really. More dangerous than catching covid and dying? Hmmm.
How many healthy young people caught Covid and died? I suspect many fewer than have died from adverse vaccine effects.
Why would you suspect that? Some 10,000 people under 50 died from covid in the UK. The ONS report there are 59 deaths from vaccine harms, I am uncertain of their age however.
Did those 10,000 die of other illnesses, but had Covid at the time? The last time I checked, the ONS stated that circa 17,000 people had died of Covid with no other underlying co-morbidities.
They are dead, had they been vaccinated then they probably wouldn’t be.
That statement has been proven wrong by the number of vaccinated who have died of covid. And by the way, a great many of those so called covid deaths were actually ‘with’ Covid and not ‘of’ Covid.
Covid was put on a death certificate if the dead person had had a positive test with 28 days of death. A scandal if ever there was one.
It’s not a ‘scandal’. This was a very practical policy intended to measure who was dying and why, in order to understand the disease.
The notion that getting covid was a death sentence for any who became infected was wicked propaganda. My niece, a nurse, was shocked by the number of people turning up after a positive test suffering not from incapacitating covid symptoms but severe anxiety because they were convinced they were about to die. As many doctors and nurses testified, those who were at risk were the obese, those with compromised immune systems and the frail and elderly.
I personally know nobody who died of Covid although most of my friends and family caught it. The unvaccinated amongst us fared no worse and often better.
The notion that getting covid was a death sentence for any who became infected was wicked propaganda.
Probably. Just as well no one actually made that claim, ever.
People in public office should tell the truth. ‘Noble’ lying is never justified.
“Hindsight is very convenient.”
Indeed. And might have been available far earlier if dissenting scientific voices had been allowed to debate the science, rather than being closed down.
Typical conspiratorial narrative from Fazi. I’m uncertain why Unherd publishes his articles, is it to throw a bit of red meat to the mob?
I could reply regarding your climate hoax. But I won’t.
I don’t have a climate hoax.
300,000 cases, out of a total population of 84m. That is less than 0.4%. If you offered me a gamble where the chances of success were 99.6%, I would jump at it. So would anyone even remotely sane.
Covid-19 killed around 7m people worldwide. Without the vaccinations, that would have been a lot more. An article in ‘The Lancet’ estimates that vaccinations saved 14m lives (https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(22)00320-6/fulltext).
How many people were killed by the vaccine? Hardly any. It was struck-by-lightning unlikely. By any stretch of the imagination, the Covid vaccines produced in the West were almost off-the-scale successful.
None of that stops us from neuralgic introspection and vicious in-fighting (Macron and AstraZeneca’s vaccine, for example), by which we attempt to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Don’t you mean 7m, if that’s the figure du jour, died “with” COVID?
This is to say nothing of the fact that it’s never been clear what it even means to “have” Ch!na v!rus. Relying on tests that show a piece of dead virus material floating around? Or others that routinely give different results to the same person?
Personally I have no doubt that the same people who clearly cooked the books on Ch!na v!rus deaths in the first place didn’t turn around and whip up a new recipe showing that the so-called “unvaccinated” were dying “from” (meaning “with”) Ch!na v!rus.
“Clearly cooked the books…”?
Mr. Hendricks, are you by any chance an American?
I found an amazing coincidence: whenever I tested positive I was feeling ill; when I tested negative I felt fine! I did the latter routinely when travelling etc. Some coincidence eh?
From the beginning of the pandemic, it was clear covid was primarily a disease of the elderly and of younger people with major health problems. Those are the populations where our resources should have been focussed.
How many lives did the vaccines save among healthy people under 50 years of age? What is the risk to those people from vaccine-related injury? We know the answer to the first question is close to zero. If there is no clear answer to the second question then there is no principled reason for mandating vaccines, especially since we know that the vaccines do not prevent infection and spread of the virus.
Thousands of people under 50 died. Whilst the vaccine didn’t stop transmission it did suppress it, so there is also that effect, which is hard to measure.
Here we go again. I have to admit to agreeing with you – twice now. It is easy to pull figures from the air and know that you were right. This is what people are trying to do, here.
You’ll get used to it ;o) As for the downvoters, maybe they should say why they disagree.
The number of otherwise healthy people under 50 who died from the virus was miniscule.. there was no justification for vaccinating younger people ..and the younger they were the less was the justification. Vaccinating health children was, in my opinion a criminal act.
It was something like 10,000 people. Maybe you should explain your views to their families?
Correct.. however, the failure of vaccines to (always?) prevent infecting others wasn’t known from the beginning; but you point is valid.
You have no idea how many were killed by the vaccine, or Covid. The data has been so misrepresented that most of what you think you know is complete bunkum.
As for “remotely sane”, that’s a club you were perhaps never part of.
At least he linked a scientific publication as opposed to someone’s blog.
Deal with the substance, if you can. Else you’re just proving your ignorance with every new post.
What substance? Why would you form an opinion on some bloke’s blog over The Lancet? I’m afraid you have a terrible case of confirmation bias.
And I’m afraid you are a clueless trolling clown.
How many people were killed by the vaccine? Hardly any.
I notice you’ve used the past tense. Please bear in mind that every Covid-vaccinee is an onging participant in human trials of a novel genetic therapy. These are early days.
I recall the first conversation I had about the new shots–mRna–then entering clinical trials. I was at the beach in August ’20–that’s right, while the world was supposedly ending due to racism and plague–and discovered that the young stranger in a bikini lounging next to me was an ER nurse on vacation before shipping out to work some lucrative hospital gig in Chicago. When I asked what she thought about the new tech, she told me she was skeptical, and that even if the shots proved to have no adverse effects now, you had to consider what would happen to you five years down the line. I would go on to find this skepticism quite common among health care professionals.
Yep.. do the math!
Successful by what measure? We were mandated to have them to prevent spreading illness. That clearly isnt what these “vaccines” do.
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