Head of intensive care advises older people to have their fifth vaccination

Tue 19th Jul, 2022

Image by DoroT SchenkThe President of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (Divi), Gernot Marx, believes that a fifth vaccination against the coronavirus may be appropriate for older people in the fall. "Should there be a vaccine available from October that protects against infection with variants BA.4 or BA.5, a fifth vaccination would make sense," Marx told the Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper. It would be important to build up the capacity for this in centers or doctors' practices.

Currently, 61.8 percent of the population has received a booster vaccination, and 7.5 percent has received a second booster vaccination. Leading EU authorities had advocated a few days ago for a second booster vaccination for everyone over 60.

The Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) - the body responsible for Germany - recommends this only for people over 70 and some risk groups. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) also advises people under 60 to be vaccinated a fourth time against Corona after consulting their doctor.

Divi President Marx also urged people to get the flu shot. "I fear otherwise that many flu patients with severe courses could further aggravate the situation in intensive care units - as we are seeing right now in Australia" said Marx.

According to Reinhard Sager, president of the German County Association, there is currently a "contagion" of the population with the coronavirus. "However, this is not tragic. This could even help us, because in the fall not so many people can be infected at the same time," said the CDU politician to the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung". The protection of risk groups is important, he added.

For the fall, however, Sager calls for the possibility of significant restrictions in view of the revision of the Infection Protection Act. "These include access restrictions for the unvaccinated, a mask requirement indoors, and testing obligations for nursing homes and larger events, for example. Contact bans also belong in the toolbox as a last resort, because no one knows how critical it will actually become."

Image by DoroT Schenk


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