ARCHIV - 17.06.2022, Berlin: Karl Lauterbach (SPD), Bundesminister für Gesundheit, zieht eine FFP2-Maske am Ende einer Pressekonferenz zur Corona-Lage im Sommer in der Bundespressekonferenz auf. (zu dpa: «Regelungen zu Maskenpflichten für Corona-Herbst in Sicht ») Foto: Michael Kappeler/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach (SPD) was annoyed by statements by the head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen, on the corona vaccination. “I think it’s problematic if the impression is given that vaccination for older people in the fall isn’t necessary,” Lauterbach told the editorial network Germany (RND) on Sunday.

At least for those over 60, it is undisputed that the booster injection is important “to prevent serious illnesses or even deaths”. He expects a medical official to “make that clear”.

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Gassen had opposed the Minister of Health’s appeal to those under 60 to quickly get a second booster vaccination. “We know from Israeli studies, among other things, that a second booster does not make sense in younger healthy people,” said Gassen. With his recommendation for the second booster, Lauterbach was “quite exclusively on the road. To recommend a fourth vaccination across the board for 30 or 40-year-olds, I think that’s wrong.”

Even in autumn, he currently sees no need for this as long as there are no new and significantly more dangerous variants. “In any case, I won’t get a second booster,” said Gassen. And then went on to say: “Even in healthy older people I would be reluctant to give the fourth vaccination, especially if they have just survived an omicron infection.”

At the same time, Lauterbach rejected criticism from Gassen of the extensive ordering of vaccine doses by the federal government. Gassen had predicted that vaccines worth up to 100 million euros would have to be thrown away because of inflated estimates.

“Apparently Mr. Gassen already knows which vaccine is needed and preferred in the fall,” countered Lauterbach ironically. In fact, this is not known. That’s why the government ordered several vaccines in parallel: We bought in such a way that we can definitely offer everyone the vaccine that will be the best. Lauterbach is planning up to 60 million vaccinations in autumn and winter.