Experts on the corona situation: “Basic immunization more important than boosters”

Status: 02.11.2021 1:33 p.m.

Health Minister Spahn wants to offer booster vaccinations for everyone as quickly as possible – and receives opposition. According to STIKO boss Mertens, the number of first vaccinations must first be increased. He receives support from doctors’ representatives.

The chairman of the Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) Thomas Mertens has rejected calls for an early booster vaccination for everyone. The basic immunization of people is more important than re-vaccinations, said Mertens at a press conference in Berlin. There are 30 percent of the areas in Germany where the initial vaccination rate is far too low. It is also important to close the gaping vaccination gaps in adults between the ages of 18 and 59. The vaccination rates are inadequate here, according to the STIKO chairman.

Robert Holm, ARD Berlin, with information about the Corona press conference

Robert Holm, tagesschau24 12:00 p.m., November 2nd, 2021

The STIKO currently recommends a Corona booster vaccination for all people aged 70 and over as soon as the last one was more than six months ago. This recommendation also applies to anyone vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The health ministers also consider booster vaccinations to be useful for all over 60s. In principle, according to the vaccination ordinance, they are also possible for all other people. It is important to first protect the people who need the vaccination most urgently, said Mertens.

Healthy middle-aged people with primary immunization could assume that they still have adequate protection against severe Covid 19 disease. Protection against infection diminishes over time, but protection against serious illness does not.

However, the STIKO wants to decide “in a few weeks” whether it will recommend booster vaccinations for everyone. There is data from international studies that speak for it, says Mertens of the Funke media group. It should be checked to what extent these results can be transferred to Germany.

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn had brought quick booster vaccinations into play for people who had been vaccinated twice. Spahn has also spoken out in favor of a nationwide reopening of the vaccination centers in order to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Scherer reminds of those who are particularly at risk

According to Martin Scherer, President of the German Society for General Medicine and Family Medicine, booster vaccinations are urgent in old people’s and nursing homes. The failure from the first corona waves should not be repeated, warned Scherer. A disproportionately large number of old people from nursing homes are among the corona deaths.

The head of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KBV), Andreas Gassen, put the number of people in Germany who should receive a booster vaccination by the end of the year at 15 million. “It can be done.” The doctors in private practice could give all recommended vaccinations if the framework conditions were right, said Gassen.

Gassen and Scherer demanded that the booster vaccinations be strictly based on the recommendations of the STIKO. It is not helpful if these are changed every few weeks by politics.

Please government to hold back

Gassen appealed to the federal government to hold back with its own recommendations about the Corona booster vaccinations. “We’d like to do our job,” he said. “Well meant is not always well done.” Different recommendations only confused. The persons concerned would have to be written to in an orderly manner.

Gassen also turned against Spahn’s request to reopen the vaccination centers. “Vaccination centers do not solve the problem. The decentralized practice is the better setting.”

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