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Corona vaccination (archive)

Photo: Annette Riedl / dpa

With the distribution of BioNTech's vaccine, which has been adapted to the current virus variants, the Corona vaccination season is scheduled to start today, Monday. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) wants to comment on the Corona situation before autumn in the morning - as does the acting president of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Lars Schaade.

A total of 14 million doses of the BioNTech preparation, which is adapted to the Omicron sublineage XBB.1.5, are expected for the vaccination season in the coming weeks. In addition, there is the adapted preparation from the US manufacturer Moderna, which was only approved for Europe on Friday, as well as an adapted vaccine from the manufacturer Novavax.

Recommended for particularly vulnerable groups

However, it remains to be seen how demand for the corona vaccination will develop. The Standing Committee on Vaccination (Stiko) had recently recommended booster vaccinations only to particularly vulnerable groups, including people aged 60 and over and people with certain pre-existing conditions.

The Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Baden-Württemberg does not expect a great demand for the adapted preparations. "According to everything we know, the latest virus variant does not seem to suggest any different courses than before," the association said.

Nevertheless, the extent of the corona wave in autumn and winter can hardly be predicted. In general, experts expect a heavy burden on the health care system due to staff shortages and seasonal waves of infection with other pathogens such as flu or colds.