The Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO) has come out in favor of the Corona vaccination with the vaccine from the manufacturer Novavax for people over 18. In addition, it advocates a second booster vaccination for groups particularly at risk and exposed to health risks. This was announced by the expert panel on Thursday regarding two draft resolutions. This is not yet a final STIKO recommendation, which is why changes are still possible. Now a coordination process with professional societies and countries is underway.
From the STIKO's point of view, a second booster vaccination with an mRNA vaccine should be given to people over 70 years of age, people in care facilities, people with immune deficiencies over five years of age, and employees in medical facilities and care institutions. For people at health risk, this should occur no earlier than three months after the first booster vaccination, and staff in medical and nursing facilities should receive the second booster no earlier than six months.
In justification, the panel said that recent data showed dwindling protection against infection within a few months after the first booster vaccination against the Omicron variant. This is a particular risk for people 70 and older and those with immune deficiencies, who are most at risk for a severe course if infected, it said. The second booster should now improve protection, he said.
However, no further booster is recommended for people who have had a corona infection after the first booster, it said. The STIKO assumes similar tolerability for the second booster as for the first. However, the panel also said "the data on the effectiveness and safety of a second booster vaccination is still limited."
Novavax vaccine to be available in Germany from Feb. 21
The Novavax vaccine is to be used alongside the existing Covid-19 vaccines for basic immunization with two doses at least three weeks apart in people of legal age. However, the vaccine is not currently recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
The preparation Nuvaxovid from the US manufacturer Novavax, which has been approved in the EU since the end of December, is - unlike the other approved vaccines - a protein vaccine with an effect enhancer. "In the approval studies, the vaccine showed comparable efficacy to the mRNA vaccines," STIKO said. However, no statements could yet be made about clinical efficacy against the omicron variant.
The Novavax vaccine, which is scheduled to be available in Germany starting Feb. 21, could lead to similarly pronounced vaccine reactions as the other approved vaccines against coronavirus. "The registration studies did not reveal any safety concerns regarding severe adverse effects after vaccination," STIKO wrote. However, the data on nuvaxovide are still limited, it said.
Image by Alexandra_Koch