General practitioners: Corona vaccination centers in summer dispensable

The German General Practitioners Association considers it unnecessary to keep the corona vaccination centers open in the summer. “The vaccination centers are empty across Germany,” said association president Ulrich Weigeldt to the newspapers of the editorial network Germany.

“Why they should now continue to be operated throughout the summer is not at all clear.” That costs a lot of money that is urgently needed elsewhere. “The general practitioners have proven that the vaccinations are best taken care of in the practices.” With a view to districts or regions with low vaccination rates, good experiences with mobile vaccination teams have also been made in many places in the past. “It’s a model that certainly makes sense for fall as well.”

Infections with the corona virus had recently increased significantly in Germany. Federal Minister of Health Karl Lauterbach speaks of a summer wave and expects little relaxation in the coming weeks. The SPD politician had told RTL/ntv that he thought “four-digit incidence numbers were possible”. There is no reason to panic, but after the number of deaths will increase again in the future. The Ministry of Health is working on a vaccination campaign for the coming months.

Expert: revise booster recommendation

The Green health politician Janosch Dahmen advised checking the recommendations for booster vaccinations. “Against the background of new scientific data, I think it is urgent that we in Germany review the recommendations for the second booster vaccination and, if necessary, extend them in good time,” said Dahmen of the Rheinische Post (Thursday).

For example, people who are younger than 70 and especially those with risk factors could also get another vaccination offer against both corona and influenza before autumn. The Standing Vaccination Commission (Stiko) has so far only recommended the second booster for parts of the population, including people over the age of 70, staff in medical and nursing facilities and people with immunodeficiency.

In spring and summer, when many activities take place outside, the number of cases had fallen sharply in the course of the pandemic so far. Experts refer to the current development to the more contagious BA.5 subtype of the omicron virus variant, which recently increased in Germany. In addition, everyday corona requirements such as mask requirements were in force last summer. Government requirements have now largely disappeared.

Green expert Dahmen warned in the Funke newspapers: “If we go into autumn unprepared, without a broad-based program for booster vaccinations and without a legal basis that makes effective measures such as compulsory wearing masks indoors possible, then we have to fear that it will be particularly difficult in could give many more deaths to the very old age groups.”

Watzl: Summer wave was to be expected

Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) said on the ARD talk show Maischberger, according to the announcement: “Nobody has to worry. According to the applicable law, we have all the instruments that are being discussed.” He referred in particular to the so-called hotspot regulation.

The immunologist Carsten Watzl found: “We currently have two developments that work against each other. On the one hand, a seasonal effect that pushes the numbers down, and on the other hand, with Omikron, unlike in previous summers, a variant that is significantly more contagious,” Watzl told the newspapers of the Funke media group (Thursday).

A summer wave was to be expected. “But I don’t think BA.5 will completely eliminate the seasonal effect. We’ll probably see incidences in the 500, 600, 700 range. I don’t think we’ll reach 2000 like last winter.”

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