The federal government has revised the coronavirus vaccination regulation. The updated version has been in effect since February 8. Among other things, the new version changes the vaccination sequence - at least in parts. What remains unchanged is that there are four different vaccination groups that take their turn one after the other. However, the composition of these groups has changed. As a result, considerably more people now belong to group two than before.
However, it is already clear that the revised version of the vaccination regulation will not be the final one. The German government intends to adapt the paper on an ongoing basis. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has already announced the next change at the press conference after the consultations with the state premiers on Wednesday: Those who work in a daycare center or as a teacher should also be brought forward to the second highest vaccination group, according to the paper. Until now, these people have been in vaccination group three - as have all people between the ages of 60 and 69.
The federal and state governments have promised to offer every person willing to be vaccinated a date for vaccination by September 21, 2021. Meanwhile, detailed delivery schedules from vaccine manufacturers are available. Thus, 63.5 million doses are to be delivered in the second quarter, and another 95 million in the third quarter. The plans show that the vaccination target is feasible - provided there are no further supply shortfalls and the federal states can also increase the capacities of the vaccination centers in good time.
What is new since February 8 is that numerous at-risk groups with pre-existing conditions that make a severe or fatal course of infection more likely, have their turn earlier than before. These include, for example, cancer patients, people with severe lung diseases such as COPD and cystic fibrosis, and people who are severely obese or diabetic. The government is thus following the recommendation of the Standing Commission on Vaccination, which has also been updated. In addition, severe psychiatric illnesses, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorders, are now explicitly mentioned.
There is also an adjustment for contact persons of pregnant women and persons in need of care: Instead of only one as before, one may now name two close contact persons who can also be vaccinated on a priority basis. However, the regulation only applies to people in need of care who do not live in an institution, such as a retirement home.
The new regulation also officially allows for case-by-case decisions: Anyone who has a high risk of severe disease progression "due to special circumstances" not previously covered by the regulation can have this confirmed by a doctor and then be vaccinated earlier under certain circumstances.
Image by Pete Linforth