Lauterbach on Corona in the fall: Federal government wants to activate every second booster

Status: 05/18/2022 5:20 p.m.

The Federal Government wants to make a fourth corona vaccination possible for all interested citizens by autumn. According to Health Minister Lauterbach, a large number of new vaccines are ordered, which are still under development.

According to Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, the Federal Government is preparing for the corona pandemic in the autumn with further vaccines. Two new vaccines are planned for this purpose – one for variants of Omicron, a vaccine that the company BioNTech is currently developing.

In addition, the federal cabinet today agreed on a bivalent vaccine that targets both omicron and the original Wuhan variants and is to be supplied by the company Moderna. A further €830 million would be made available in the budget for this purpose. The SPD politician announced this at a press conference.

Health Minister Lauterbach presents Corona strategy for autumn

tagesschau24 14:00, 18.5.2022

Second single-dose booster

Wuhan vaccines that have already been vaccinated and that cover the Delta variant are sufficiently available. According to the Minister of Health, the second booster is intended as a single dose.

Lauterbach again stressed that the pandemic is not over yet. The country must be prepared for all eventualities. Even though the omicron variant now dominates in many places, Delta is still represented. So you don’t know what you will face in the fall.

Lauterbach said a general recommendation from the Standing Commission on Vaccination (STIKO) for a second booster would be desirable – but there was still no data for people up to the age of 70. STIKO advises people over 70 to do a second booster.

Vaccination centers will continue

The Minister of Health stressed that in general anyone who wants or needs a second booster must be able to be taken care of. Lauterbach even assured: There will be enough vaccines so that everyone who wants to be vaccinated can freely choose their vaccine. To make this possible, the vaccination centers would also continue – the federal government provides 100 million euros per month for this.

Lauterbach admitted that there is currently a “surplus” of vaccine doses in Germany – and that the planned ordering of new vaccines should mean that older vaccines expire. But it was “substantiated in the matter”, he said. “We can’t yet predict which variants we’ll have to contend with in the fall.”

The Infection Protection Act needs to be revised

In order to be able to react to a change in the course of the infection, the Länder also want to revise the Infection Protection Act. Wearing a mask indoors, notions of hygiene and 2G or 3G should be possible again if necessary. Lauterbach also saw this need today, but declined to be specific and pointed to talks within the traffic light coalition.

The leader of the FDP parliamentary group, Christian Dürr, had already announced in a newspaper interview that there would be no freedom restrictions with his party. The Minister of Health nevertheless remained optimistic:

I believe that we can very well agree with the FDP on the necessary measures – and to speculate on where there might be dissent would be meaningless. We assume that we will be well prepared in the fall.

Incidence continues to decline

According to data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the infection rate in Germany is currently falling. In the morning, the RKI gave the incidence over seven days at 407.4. The value was 437.6 the day before, 507.1 a week earlier and 808.8 a month earlier.

German health authorities reported 72,051 new RKI infections in one day, up from 97,010 a week earlier. 174 deaths have been recorded. The number was 231 a week earlier.

However, these figures do not give the complete picture. Not all infected people undergo a PCR test, but only those count in the statistics. In addition, late registrations or transmission difficulties can lead to a distortion of the individual daily values. For this reason and because the health authorities are overloaded, experts assume that there will be a large number of cases that will not be registered by the RKI.

With information from Eva Ellermann, studio capital ARD

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