RKI reports partly high incidences in children and adolescents

The seven-day incidence in Germany continues to rise. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) gave the value of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants and week on Friday morning with 68.7. For comparison, the previous day the value had been 67.0, and a week ago 63.8. Health offices in Germany reported 11,518 new corona infections to the RKI within one day. This is according to figures reflecting the status of the RKI dashboard as of 04:21. A week ago, the figure had been 10,429 infections.

Across Germany, 65 deaths were recorded within 24 hours, according to the new data. A week ago, there had been 86 deaths. The RKI counted 4,354,158 confirmed infections with Sars-CoV-2 since the start of the pandemic, but the actual total is likely to be significantly higher, as many infections go undetected.

The number of corona patients admitted to hospitals per 100,000 population within seven days - the most important parameter for a possible tightening of corona restrictions - was given by the RKI on Thursday as 1.93 (Wednesday 1.90). A nationwide threshold for when the situation should be considered critical is not provided for hospitalization incidence, in part because of large regional differences. The previous high was around 15.5 around Christmas time.

The RKI gave the number of people who recovered as 4,134,100. The number of people who died from or with the involvement of a confirmed infection with Sars-CoV-2 increased to 94,526.In individual regions of Germany, the RKI registered particularly many Corona infections in children and adolescents. In eight counties, the seven-day incidence is currently more than 500 among 10- to 19-year-olds, the RKI tweeted Thursday evening on an evaluation in the new Corona weekly report. More detailed information on the counties and their respective numbers was not provided, but counties were colored accordingly on a map. The RKI also did not provide any information on possible backgrounds for the regionally high numbers.

Nationwide, however, the seven-day incidence last week in the under-20 age groups was down slightly from the week before, it said in summary. Values in people over 20, on the other hand, rose slightly.

The RKI also spoke of 636 transmitted school outbreaks nationwide for the past four weeks - but because of possible follow-up reports, the past two weeks in particular could not yet be evaluated.For some time now, numerous Corona infections have been detected, particularly in children of school age and older and in adolescents. Testing for the virus is regularly conducted at daycare centers and schools. Covid-19 vaccines have so far been licensed for ages 12 and older. Vaccination rates among 12- to 17-year-olds are still much lower than among adults. Children and adolescents are significantly less likely to contract Covid-19 severely than older people, but there are still unanswered questions around long-term effects.

In groups aged 70 and older, for whom the Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) now recommends booster vaccination, the incidence increases are mostly slight, according to the report. It is larger especially among the very old over 90 years - the value rose from 39 to 48 from last week to last week. In older age, the immune response after vaccinations is lower overall and vaccine breakthroughs could more often also lead to a severe course, it was recently stated in the Stiko justification for booster vaccinations.

Overall, the RKI currently assesses the situation with regard to infection figures as stagnant. The developments in the individual federal states differ. Significant increases were recorded in Saxony, Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg and Saarland in the comparison of the past two weeks, according to the weekly report.

German pediatricians and adolescents expect a Corona vaccine for children under 12 to be available soon. Jörg Dötsch, director of the pediatric clinic at the University Hospital of Cologne and president of the German Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, told the Düsseldorf newspaper Rheinische Post. "We expect the vaccine to be approved for the under-12s this year," Dötsch said. However, Dötsch doubted that the Standing Commission on Vaccination (Stiko) will then immediately issue an unqualified recommendation. "It is likely that after approval, the Stiko will issue a restricted recommendation for risk groups, for example children with severe chronic diseases," Dötsch said.

If approval in Germany and even a limited Stiko recommendation were to occur, Dötsch, a pediatrician and adolescent physician, would welcome it. "This would be a very good and important improvement for the affected children and their families," he said. "In our estimation, it is also likely that the Stiko will wait with a recommendation for all children and adolescents until more comprehensive data on side effects in the age group are available." The background, he said, is the relatively mild course of Covid-19 in those younger than 12.


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