In the past few weeks there have been an increase in mass outbreaks of corona in various old people's homes, in some cases with deaths.

At the beginning of January, 13 residents died in Rastatt in Baden as a result of a corona infection.

According to information from the district office, all victims lacked the booster vaccination, according to the management, only 58 percent were boosted in the home.

The following applies: Old and sick people who become infected with the now predominant omicron variant of the coronavirus are only protected from a severe course of the disease if they have received a booster vaccination.

Rudiger Soldt

Political correspondent in Baden-Württemberg.

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A spokeswoman for the company, which belongs to the Dussmann Kursana Group, said the deceased had not had themselves vaccinated or boosted at their own request.

"The basic problem is the general vaccination skepticism in Germany." According to the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Health, mobile vaccination teams have made three offers for vaccination campaigns to the home in Rastatt - apparently they were not accepted.

Booster rate of 65 percent

In North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein, there have also been more corona outbreaks in old people's homes in recent weeks. And in Rudolstadt in Thuringia, 18 residents died in early January – only one had a booster vaccination. In the most recent weekly report from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), 138 outbreaks with 1129 individual infections in the old people’s and nursing homes were reported for the 52nd calendar week.

In the nursing homes, the vaccination status of the people in need of care varies: in the houses of the Diakonie in southern Baden, 80 percent of the residents have received the third vaccination; in the hundred nursing homes of the Württembergische Heimstiftung, 90 percent received the first and second vaccination, the booster rate is only 65 percent. The reason for this is not the refusal of the booster vaccination by the residents of the home, but many older people in the homes received the second vaccination late or had just survived a serious infection.

On average across the country, only 68 percent of residents in old people's and care facilities are protected from a severe course with a booster vaccination. A spokesman for the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Health said: “It is not due to a lack of vaccination options if nursing home residents and employees are not vaccinated or boosted. The state cannot force the offers to be accepted.” Health Minister Manfred Lucha (Greens) once again wrote a letter to all inpatient nursing homes to encourage them to use the offers of the vaccination teams and to contact the ministry’s vaccination staff directly in the event of difficulties. There is a “need for action” with booster vaccinationsbecause the majority of the people who were seriously ill or died in the nursing homes were not or not fully vaccinated.

The managing director of the Evangelische Heimstiftung in Stuttgart, Bernhard Schneider, repeated his call for general vaccination, even if the omicron mutant probably leads to milder courses: "In the future, a binding vaccination strategy must be able to be started immediately for every new virus variant." the chancellor to keep his promise.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it at the moment."