Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach has spoken out in favor of “clear recommendations” for people under the age of 60 or 70 as well, whether and in which cases a fourth corona vaccination is advisable. “Of course the younger ones also want to know what they should do now. We now need clear recommendations for all age groups,” said the SPD politician to the newspapers of the Funke media group.
“We shouldn’t just say what the over 70s should do,” explained Lauterbach. “We also need to have an answer for the 40-year-old. Shouldn’t he be vaccinated? Or only in exceptional cases, for example if there are a lot of contacts at work? Or only if the family doctor recommends it? You need a message for every age.”
At the latest when the new vaccines adapted to the Omicron variant are available, “there should also be clear announcements for those under 60 years of age”.
As early as Saturday, German general practitioners appealed to older population groups to be vaccinated against the corona virus a fourth time. “The recommendation of the Standing Vaccination Commission provides the framework that general practitioners use as a guide,” said the federal chairman of the German Association of General Practitioners, Ulrich Weigeldt, the Düsseldorf “Rheinische Post” on Saturday.
“The Stiko recommendation says that the fourth vaccination is currently recommended for older people and those at high risk.” The focus should therefore now be on those at risk, especially because far too few of them have decided to have a fourth vaccination, Weigeldt continued .
The Stiko recommends the fourth vaccination for people aged 70 and over. The European Union has extended the recommendation to everyone aged 60 and over. Weigeldt said: “At the end of the day, vaccination is a decision between patient and doctor.”
The individual situation of the individual patient must always be considered. “Of course, whether someone is 69 or 70 will not be the all-important question, because no switch is flipped on their 70th birthday,” said Weigeldt.
“A younger patient with pre-existing conditions may be more at risk than a 70-year-old who is in top shape. That is why it is so important that patients can turn to someone who knows them and their medical history.”
The chairman of the association also warned of a vaccination gap. One point that is currently being overlooked in the public discussion is that millions of people are still missing the first or third vaccination, said Weigeldt.
“We therefore need a positive vaccination campaign – not only for the fourth vaccination, but also to close the vaccination gaps at the first and third vaccinations.”
In contrast to Weigeldt, the immunologist Carsten Watzl currently sees reasons to wait with a fourth corona vaccination for vaccines adapted to the omicron variant. “Since the adapted vaccines will hopefully come next month, you can now wait if you have not yet had the fourth vaccination,” said the Secretary General of the German Society for Immunology to the newspapers of the Funke media group (Saturday).
“Vaccination with the adapted vaccines will once again boost immunity to omicrons and they will likely provide some protection against infection as well.”
Watzl explained that if you are now being vaccinated for the fourth time with the previous vaccines, you should wait at least three to six months before the next vaccination. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) recently said that he was expecting four new, adapted vaccines in the fall with approval on September 9th at the earliest.
According to the Medical Association, the official corona numbers for Germany only show part of the actual cases of infection. The chairman of the Federal Association of Physicians in the Public Health Service (BVÖDG), Johannes Nießen, told the newspapers of the editorial network Germany on Saturday that he estimates the number of unreported corona cases to be around two to three times as high. The general practitioners called on risk groups to be vaccinated a fourth time.
The official number of corona cases results from the reported positive PCR tests minus the deceased. Increasingly, however, “people undergo an antigen test and no longer carry out a PCR test,” explained official medical officer Nießen. “This leads to an under-recording of infections.” to this underreporting.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) put the nationwide seven-day incidence on Saturday morning at 417.2. This is evident from numbers that reflect the status of the RKI dashboard at 5 a.m. The day before, the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week was 432.2 (previous week: 578.1; previous month: 678.8).
However, this information only provides a very incomplete picture of the number of infections. Experts have been assuming for some time that there will be a large number of cases not recorded by the RKI – mainly because not all infected people have a PCR test done. Only positive PCR tests count in the statistics. In addition, late registrations or transmission problems can lead to a distortion of individual daily values.
The health authorities in Germany recently reported 49,609 new corona infections (previous week: 66,003) and 141 deaths (previous week: 117) to the RKI within one day. Here, too, comparisons of the data are only possible to a limited extent due to the test behavior, late registrations or transmission problems.
In general, the number of registered new infections and deaths varies significantly from weekday to weekday, since many federal states do not transmit them to the RKI, especially at weekends, and report their cases later in the week.