In view of sufficient vaccination doses from the manufacturers BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna, Germany can now offer older people and those vaccinated in winter a booster and at the same time start vaccinating children and adolescents.

In view of the highly contagious Delta variant, even with a high vaccination rate like in Israel, time is of the essence.

There all citizens over 60 years of age have been asked to be vaccinated a third time.

Because the number of seriously ill and breakthroughs in vaccination is growing - in Israel as well as in Germany.

Heike Schmoll

Political correspondent in Berlin, responsible for “Bildungswelten”.

  • Follow I follow

According to the Robert Koch Institute, 7,200 people in this country have been infected with the coronavirus despite being vaccinated, 90 percent of them with the Delta variant.

43.2 million are now considered fully vaccinated in Germany.

Nevertheless, in the opinion of the experts, the vaccination makes sense even with breakthroughs, because it protects very well against serious courses and deaths.

A finding from the United States also reduces the likelihood that unvaccinated people could be spared the coronavirus in view of rising vaccination rates. "Up to now it has been assumed in science that an infection can be passed on much less often by vaccinated people than by unvaccinated people, especially not to other vaccinated people," said the head of the Prevention and Evaluation department at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology in Bremen , Hajo Zeeb, on the American findings. But that is not the case. He called for the Americans not to repeat the mistake and to maintain the mask requirement in Germany. In America, after a superspreading event in Massachusetts, at several indoor and outdoor events, the Disease Control Agency recommendedto reintroduce the mask requirement also for vaccinated persons.

It is noteworthy that the health ministers with their planned decision to offer vaccinations to children and adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age have now for the second time in the past ten days disregarded the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute and the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) located there want. The RKI is a departmental research institution, so not entirely independent. So far, the STIKO had only recommended vaccinations for children and adolescents "after medical advice and if the child or adolescent or their guardian or guardian accepted the individual wishes and risk". She repeatedly referred to a lack of data. Other countries that have long since vaccinated their children and adolescents, such as Israel and the United States, apparently see it differently.

While the President of the RKI, Lothar Wieler, had recently confirmed that the incidences remain the key criterion for assessing the pandemic situation for him despite the slow increase in the vaccination rate, the German Hospital Association contradicted him on the weekend. Politicians must finally act and define a mix of indicators. “It cannot be that the Robert Koch Institute is sitting on all of these data, making no new suggestions and we are still only talking about the incidences,” said the President of the Hospital Society, Gerald Gass. The RKI's adherence to the incidences as a guide value is "incomprehensible" for him, after all, it is about "maintaining acceptance among the population for measures against Corona". He expectsthat the new compulsory test for travelers returning will lead to rising incidences because more tests are simply carried out. These would have to be classified correctly - for example by comparing them with the rate of positive test results.

The Freiburg medical statistician Gerd Antes welcomed the suggestion of the hospital society. Compared to Deutschlandfunk, however, he doubted “that the state minister-presidents and the Federal Chancellery are seriously interested”. Antes was critical of the reliability of the 545 approved tests with varying degrees of reliability. The equation of testing and vaccination is "a complete mistake" for him. To believe that the tests made further restrictions unnecessary "will be very difficult for us in the fall," said Antes. He called for a study on the reliability of the tests in real conditions. Sometimes every second infected person is overlooked, who then runs around as "free tested" and infects others, according to the medical statistician. He advocated vaccination.

In order to better understand the effect of vaccines, many more corpses would have to be autopsied, said Heidelberg pathologist Peter Schirmacher. In addition to corona deaths, people who died in connection with a vaccination would also have to be autopsied. In the south-west, corona deaths have been autopsied at the university clinics for a year in order to better understand the disease. Baden-Württemberg supports Covid-19 autopsy research with 1.8 million euros. Schirmacher heads the autopsy project. The findings of 200 autopsies so far have led to better treatment and ventilation of Covid patients, said Schirmacher, who is a member of the Leopoldina National Academy. His assumption that 30 to 40 percent of those who died within two weeks of the vaccination had died of her,other scientists strongly disagree. The Paul Ehrlich Institute pointed out that serious reactions such as death after a vaccination are notifiable according to the Infection Protection Act.