The Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) urges booster vaccinations against the coronavirus initially only for selected groups. It is important to protect the people who need the vaccination most urgently first, said Stiko Chairman Thomas Mertens in Berlin on Tuesday.
Healthy middle-aged people with basic immunization could assume they still have sufficient protection against severe covid 19 disease. Although protection against infection diminishes over time, protection against severe disease does not. Mertens stressed that it is also important to close the remaining gaps in vaccination among adults aged 18 to 59.
Vaccination boosters are available at least six months after a full vaccination. They are offered to elders aged 60 and older, Corona risk groups, but also vaccinated with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
For the time being, the Stiko recommends booster vaccinations for people over 70, for immunocompromised patients, and for nursing staff, among others. In principle, however, they are also possible for all other people according to vaccination regulations.
Physicians in private practice have appealed to the federal government to hold back on its own recommendations on Corona booster vaccinations. The chairman of the board of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen, said Tuesday in Berlin that deviating recommendations only confuse. Gassen said that physicians in private practice could administer all recommended vaccinations if the general conditions were right.
Martin Scherer, president of the German Society for General and Family Medicine, added that booster vaccinations in nursing homes and homes for the elderly are particularly urgent. The failure from the first Corona waves must not be repeated, Scherer warned. Among the Corona deaths are disproportionately many elderly people from nursing homes.
The physicians' representatives demanded that booster vaccinations be carried out strictly in accordance with the recommendations of the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko). Clear announcements and an overview are needed in order to be able to carry out the vaccinations in the practices, Gassen emphasized, and thus also turned against statements by Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU), who had recommended the so-called booster vaccinations in general and hoped to break the fourth Corona wave with them.
The health ministers consider booster vaccinations to be useful for all over-60s. Health Minister Spahn had recommended reopening vaccination centers for booster shots. Physicians' President Klaus Reinhardt backed the proposal, but it was met with skepticism in the states and among physicians in private practice.
According to the Federal Ministry of Health, two-thirds of the population in Germany is currently fully vaccinated against Corona. That is 55.5 million people. Of the 24.1 million people over the age of 60, a good 85 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the data. According to these statistics, 2.1 million people have received a booster vaccination to date.
Photo by Mika Baumeister